Government of Canada invests over $1.6 million to bring high-speed Internet to more than 684 more homes in Northern Ontario

News release

Ontarians in rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity

June 18, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home. Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Through the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.

Today, Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $1.6 million in federal funding for Bell. These investments will bring high-speed Internet to rural residents of Powassan and Hornell Heights. These projects will connect more than 684 underserved households to high-speed Internet. The Honourable Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming, was also in attendance.

The $2.75-billion UBF was launched on November 9, 2020. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Ontario. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $2.85 billion in over 4,060 infrastructure projects in Ontario communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 people. These investments mean 452 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 938 projects to provide residents with cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 5,427 additional housing units built in rural communities, helping ensure all Ontarians have a safe place to call home.

Quotes

"High-speed Internet is essential for Northern Ontario. It connects us to work, school and each other. This project is part of our commitment to connect 98% of households to reliable broadband services by 2026 and 100% of Canadians by 2030. We will not stop this important work until everyone has access to the high-speed Internet they need.”
- Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury

“Connecting people in Nipissing-Timiskaming continues to be a high priority. Residents of Powassan and Hornell Heights will soon have access to reliable, high-speed Internet so that they can work, learn and keep in touch with their loved ones from home. Access to high-speed Internet is critical for economic development and for our region’s overall recovery from the pandemic. Broadband Internet has been an essential tool for years and now, more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how much everyone needs reliable access to high-speed Internet.”
- The Honourable Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming

“Bell has committed to making historic investments in Canada’s high-speed broadband networks—investments that connect even more rural communities and that reflect confidence in the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of that commitment, we’re proud to invest $564,478 and to partner with the Government of Canada in providing residents of Powassan and Hornell Heights with access to the fastest next-generation connections they need to thrive in a digital economy.”
- Bruce Furlong, Senior Vice-President of Access Engineering and Deployment at Bell

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.

  • The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021, and are now being evaluated.

  • The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023, and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Associated links

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
marie-pier.baril@cfc-swc.gc.ca
613-295-8123

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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