Nearly 280,000 Ontario residents to benefit from historic agreement to improve access to high-speed Internet
This historic agreement is being made possible by an equal federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.
In addition, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is assessing opportunities proposed through the Universal Broadband Fund to provide additional financing on a project-by-project basis toward significant expansion of broadband in partnership with private and institutional investors.
Canada-wide, more than 890,000 rural and remote households are on track to be connected to high-speed Internet as a result of federal investments. At the end of March 2021, 175,000 rural and remote households had been connected to high-speed Internet under projects supported by the Government of Canada. By the end of this year, over 435,000 households will be connected thanks to support from the federal government.
This investment represents a concrete step forward that will move Ontario almost 40% of the way in its ambitious plan to achieve 100% connectivity for all regions in the province by the end of 2025.
This investment builds on Ontario's recently announced investment of up to $14.7 million for 13 new projects under the Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program. This will provide up to 17,000 homes and businesses with access to reliable high-speed Internet and builds on a range of provincial initiatives under way that will connect another 70,000 homes and businesses.
Also part of Ontario's plan to achieve 100% connectivity is a recently announced innovative procurement process that is being used to help connect the vast majority of the remaining underserved and unserved communities. Procurement under this delivery model, led by Infrastructure Ontario, will begin later this summer. Together, these initiatives are part of Ontario's plan to help bring reliable high-speed Internet to more communities across Ontario.
The Government of Canada has committed $7.2 billion to broadband Internet infrastructure, including $2.75 billion through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF). These investments will help ensure that 98% of Canadians will have high-speed Internet access by 2026, and 100% will have access by 2030. ■