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Province promises better connectivity with new broadband plan

The $315 million fund was announced with 2019 Ontario Budget
internet 2016

Northern Ontario is expected to benefit from a new provincial program to increase access to broadband services.

On July 23, the Ontario government announced the rollout of its previously announced $315-million plan to improve and expand internet and cell phone service across the province. The plan was first revealed in April as part of the Ontario 2019 Budget.

“Too many people, especially those living in rural and Northern communities, do not have access to reliable internet access,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said in a news release.

“It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”

Part of the plan includes $150 million for a new broadband fund, which will be used to leverage funding from the federal government and the private sector, designed to “drive investment and expansion to unserved and underserved communities.”

The province anticipates the plan will generate up to $1 billion in investment over five years. That, in turn, will result in new connections for up to 220,000 homes and businesses, said the province in the release.