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Ontario investing nearly $1 billion to expand and improve broadband and cellular access

Christian Fernsby |
The Ontario government is making a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access across the province.

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Topics: ONTARIO   

The $680 million being announced today is on top of the $315 million to support Up to Speed: Ontario's Broadband and Cellular Action Plan. This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond.

The investment doubles funding for the Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) program, bringing the new total to $300 million. 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.

As part of Ontario's broadband and cellular action plan, ICON is one of several provincial initiatives underway to improve connectivity across Northern, Eastern and Southwestern Ontario.

Over 1.4 million people in Ontario do not have broadband or cellular access, and as many as 12 per cent of households in Ontario, mostly in rural, remote or Northern areas, are underserved or unserved from the perspective of broadband, according to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) data.

"This investment will connect even more residents in communities across Ontario to faster, more reliable Internet and cell service," said Minister Scott. "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."


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