The Ontario government has announced a $680 million investment to expand broadband and cellular access across the province.
This investment is on top of the $315 million previously announced to support the ‘Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan.’
The government notes that this collective funding will create jobs and connect unserved and underserved communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“With the world online these days, if we are going to attract more investment to Ontario and compete in this highly competitive global marketplace, we need every part of our province connected with high-speed Internet,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated in a new release.
The investment announced today doubles funding for the Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) program, bringing the new total to $300 million. The government notes that this program now has the potential to leverage more than $900 million in total partner funding to improve connectivity in areas of need across Ontario.
“Today’s commitment to connect more people to reliable broadband and cellular service — along with many others we’ve made — will make it easier for more people to work and learn from home, run their businesses and connect with others,” said Ontario’s Infrastructure Minister Laurie Scott.
Further, the government notes that over 1.4 million people in the province do not have broadband or cellular access, and as many as 12 percent of households are underserved or unserved.
Source: Government of Ontario