Government of Canada invests over $6.9 million to bring high-speed Internet to more than 3,455 households in Ontario

News release

Residents of rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity

January 26, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how we live, work, learn and do business, and now more than ever, Canadians across the country need reliable high-speed Internet to access services, supports and opportunities. Through the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed Internet.

Today, Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell, along with Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced over $6.9 million in funding for five projects that will bring high-speed Internet to more than 3,455 households in rural Ontario. Funding will be allocated as follows:

  • $371,619 for an Algonquin Fiber project benefiting the community of Dwight
  • $683,644 for an Algonquin Fiber project benefiting the community of Portage
  • $267,781 for a Bell Canada Enterprises project benefiting the community of Athens
  • $3,992,993 for a Lakeland Networks project benefiting the communities of Severn Bridge, Vernon Shores, Melissa, Port Sydney, Golden Beach, Novar, Allensville, Centurion, Utterson, Bracebridge and Ravenscliffe
  • $1,592,854 for a WTC Communications project benefiting communities in the Rideau Lakes area, including Portland, The Bush, Morton, Seeley’s Bay and Delta

Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward making sure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026. As we work to rebuild from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.

Quotes

“This is excellent news for rural Ontario. High-speed Internet access is an essential service that has only been made more vital due to the pandemic. Our government knows that it is urgent and critical to connect rural and remote regions throughout Canada, including Ontario.”
- Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of staying connected to one another, and vital to this connection is fast and reliable Internet. Thanks to the government’s investment in these Rapid Response Stream projects, Ontarians living in rural and remote communities are gaining access to high-speed Internet connections they can count on.”
- Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands

“This investment will bring reliable high-speed Internet access to over 3,455 households in rural Ontario, helping create jobs, improving access to health care and online learning services, and keeping people connected. Through the Universal Broadband Fund, the Government of Canada has committed $2.75 billion to connect rural Canadians to better, faster Internet. We will continue making investments like these in rural and remote communities to help connect every single Canadian to high-speed Internet.”
- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“Algonquin Fiber is very pleased to work with the Government of Canada on these Rapid Response Stream projects. We are excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to rapidly expand our network and high-speed Internet offerings to the residents and businesses of Dwight and the Lake of Bays area.”
- Matthew Young, President of Algonquin Fiber

“Access to high-speed broadband networks is helping drive Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and will be a key driver of future social and economic prosperity. That’s why Bell committed to further accelerating our industry-leading capital investment plan to connect even more communities across the country. In addition to our own fully funded capital investments, we are proud to invest a further $1,071,124 to partner with the Government of Canada in providing residents in Athens with access to the fastest fibre home Internet speeds available.”
- Bruce Furlong, Senior Vice-President, Access Engineering and Deployment, Bell Canada

“Lakeland Networks is pleased to work in partnership with Rural Economic Development to continue expanding our fibre-optic network, providing high-speed broadband service. Without UBF funding, rural density could not be afforded the installation of best-in-technology broadband, a scalable fibre platform and service.”
- Margaret Maw, Chief Financial Officer of Lakeland Holding Ltd.

“WTC Communications is happy to be partnering with the Government of Canada and the Township of Rideau Lakes to bring fibre to the home with speeds up to 1 Gbps to over 750 homes and 50/10 Mbps fixed wireless service to over 900 homes. This project will continue to expand WTC’s fibre network in Rideau Lakes and give residents the connections they need to work, learn, socialize and entertain themselves. We would like to thank the Minister and the federal government for their support to bring better broadband to our rural communities. We would also like to thank Mayor Hoogenboom and the Rideau Lakes council for their commitment to improving broadband throughout the township.”
- Mike Lynn, General Manager of WTC Communications

Quick facts

  • The projects announced today are receiving over $6.9 million in Government of Canada funding to bring high-speed Internet to more than 3,455 households in 20 communities.

  • 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.

  • In 2021, 131 projects supported through the Rapid Response Stream of the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) were announced. These projects will bring high-speed Internet to more than 75,000 households in rural and remote communities across Canada.

  • Since 2015, Government of Canada funding has supported projects to bring high-speed Internet to over 1.1 million households in rural and remote communities across Canada.

  • The UBF is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

  • 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 $2 billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Associated links

Contacts

Jeremy Bellefeuille
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
343-551-0898
Jeremy.Bellefeuille@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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