The governments of Canada and Ontario announced over $71 million in combined federal and provincial funding for Bell Canada and Cogeco to bring high-speed internet access to more than 22,000 homes in 74 rural communities across eastern Ontario.

The projects being announced are part of an existing partnership between Ontario and Canada. On July 29, 2021, the governments announced a Canada–Ontario broadband partnership to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 homes across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

“We all know that internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. That’s why our government made a historic commitment to connect 98 per cent of Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026. Today’s announcement in Osgoode marks a significant milestone for internet connectivity in rural Ontario. This investment will provide reliable and affordable high-speed internet access through Bell and Cogeco to more than 22,000 underserved homes in 74 small communities across Carleton and eastern Ontario,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development.

The announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed internet by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030. The announcement also brings the Government of Ontario closer to achieving its goal of bringing reliable high-speed internet access to every community by the end of 2025.

“The Ontario government is ensuring that every community across the province has access to reliable high-speed internet by the end of 2025. By working together with our federal partners, we are increasing access to high-speed internet for communities province-wide, including right here in Osgoode. We are ensuring that no one will be left behind,” said Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure.

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“We are proud to partner with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to expand our all-fibre broadband network to even more communities across eastern Ontario. Our fast and reliable internet connections help people in rural and remote communities stay connected while at home and at work. Through our own fully funded investments and through partnerships like this, Bell continues to deliver on our purpose of advancing how Canadians connect with each other and the world,” said Bruce Furlong, SVP Network, Bell Canada.

“We are extremely proud to make our first expansion into the townships of Frontenac Islands and South Frontenac. Thanks to this partnership with the governments of Canada and Ontario, more residents and businesses in these municipalities, as well as the City of Kingston, will have access to our fibre-powered network. It’s investments like this that contribute to our shared goal of reducing the digital divide, ensuring all Ontarians have access to high-speed internet,” sad Matt Wickham, VP and general manager, Customer Experience and B2B, Cogeco.

Featured image: (CIB)

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