The federal and Ontario governments have announced an agreement to accelerate investments in broadband infrastructure that will bring high-speed internet to nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households in hundreds of communities across the province.
The two governments’ agreement will see them partner to support large-scale, fibre-based projects to bring high-speed internet to “all corners of the province by 2025.” The investment will total over $1.2 billion, constituting an equal amount from both governments.
Additionally, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will assess opportunities proposed through the Universal Broadband Fund to provide additional financing on a project-by-project basis.
“Broadband is critical infrastructure, and the pandemic has made this more apparent than ever. Reliable high‑speed Internet allows us to learn, attend school and work remotely, and it allows small businesses to serve customers. But too many rural communities still do not have access to high-speed Internet,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“Broadband access is critical for our country’s economic growth and recovery, and our government is committed to making sure no community is left behind. This investment, in partnership with Ontario and the Canada Infrastructure Bank, will connect nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households to high-speed Internet.”
According to a news release published by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the investment will help move Ontario almost 40 percent of the way in its plan to achieve 100 percent connecting for all regions in the province by the end of 2025.
Moreover, the new investment builds on Ontario’s recently announced $14.6 million investment under the $150 million Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program.