A joint investment between the province of Ontario and the federal government will bring high-speed internet to as many as 90,124 rural Ontario households in Eastern Ontario. The $362 million investment in new projects in Eastern Ontario was provided by the province’s Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program and the federal Universal Broadband Fund (UBF).
MPP Daryl Kramp welcomed this latest announcement as part of over $1.2 billion in joint funding in 58 new projects through the ICON and UBF programs, according to a release from the MPP’s office, dated Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. These investments will bring high-speed internet to up to 280,000 homes and businesses across rural Ontario.
“Our government is taking another step forward in the Premier’s bold plan that commits a historic investment of nearly $4 billion to connect every community in Ontario to high-speed internet by the end of 2025,” said MPP Kramp. “This provincial commitment of funding is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.”
The COVID–19 pandemic has highlighted just how crucial access to high-speed internet is for everyone and that all Ontarians need it now more than ever, not just big centres, according to the release.
“That is why our government is stepping up and delivering on its commitment to rural eastern Ontario,” said Kramp. “This is the message I have heard from my constituents and it’s the message I took to Queen’s Park after my previous experience as a federal MP working with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) project back when broadband wasn’t available outside urban centres.”
This builds on the announcement the Province made just a few weeks ago on Ontario’s investment of up to $14.7 million for 13 projects previously submitted under ICON for Eastern Ontario.
The list of communities now covered by ICON and UBF broadband funding in Hastings-Lennox and Addington includes:
Actinolite, Amherstview, Bancroft, Bannockburn, Bath, Coe Hill, Cloyne, Corbyville, Denbigh, Detlor, Eldorado, Flinton, Gilmour, Halloway, Highland Grove, Ivanhoe, Kaladar, Madoc, Marlbank, Maple Leaf, Maynooth, Napanee, Northbrook, Odessa, Plainfield, Plevna, Queensborough, Read, Rural Plevna, Sandhurst Shores, Selby, Strathcona, Tamworth, Thomasburg, Tweed, L’Amable, Steenburg Lake, Stirling, Yarker, and Zion Hill.
The approved projects are all shovel-ready, according to the release. Because project each is unique, they will each have their own targeted completion dates. However, ICON stipulates that these projects need to be completed by March 31, 2024. Projects had to meet or exceed internet speeds of 50 megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload speeds to be approved by the Province.