Today, Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced joint funding for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s mobile broadband project.
The Government of Canada will contribute up to $71 million to this project under the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Plan. The Government of Ontario will provide $71 million and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) will provide $10 million towards the project, with private partners providing the rest of the funding.
“Having access to the internet is not a luxury in the 21st century. It is a necessity,” said Monsef. “Our Liberal Rural Caucus, including MP Kim Rudd and MP Mike Bossio, has been working with EORN and the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus to make this investment in our region a reality. Today, we celebrate this collaboration, the economic growth this investment will bring and all the ways it will make life a little easier for over a million people in our region.”
Phase 1 of the project involves building 317 new telecommunications towers and an additional 32 local internet access points to improve overall mobile coverage for residents of Eastern Ontario. Phase 2 will identify the capacity gaps that result from heavy user-traffic, upgrade equipment to reduce network overloads, and improve service quality in rural communities.
Once completed, the project will improve mobile coverage for over 1.1 million residents in 102 communities in Eastern Ontario, including the County of Peterborough. The new network will allow businesses to grow and reach new markets, with a potential to create more than 3,000 full time jobs over ten years. For residents and families, extended mobile coverage means better access to mobile applications on a smartphone or tablet. The improved connectivity will also make it easier for people in remote areas to call for help in emergency situations.
“EORN is building on the investment we’ve already made in broadband infrastructure across the region to close the gap in mobile services and improve economic growth, quality of life and public safety,” said J. Murray Jones, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network and Peterborough County Warden. “We welcome and appreciate the support of the federal government for this project. Combined with provincial and municipal funding, we can now proceed with the next steps to make improved connectivity a reality for our region.”
The project will benefit the following areas in Peterborough County;
- Municipality of Trent Lakes
- Selwyn Township
- Township of Asphodel-Norwood
- Township of Cavan Monaghan
- Township of Douro-Dummer
- Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen
- Township of North Kawartha
- Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan
- Curve Lake First Nation
- Hiawatha First Nation
On June 27, the Government of Canada launched two new strategies: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet, and Canada’s first Rural Economic Development Strategy, which will spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for rural Canadians across the country.
The Rural Economic Development Strategy leverages ongoing federal investments and provides a vision for the future, identifying practical steps to take in the short term, and serving as a foundation to guide further work.
“Investments like the one announced today help grow our local economies, build stronger and more inclusive communities, and safeguard the environment and the health of Canadians for years to come,” concluded Monsef. “By investing in the infrastructure that communities need, our government is creating the conditions so that all Canadians, no matter where they live, can reach their full potential and share in our nation’s prosperity.”
- Central to Canada’s Connectivity Strategy are historic new investments that are mobilizing up to $6 billion toward universal connectivity. They include a top-up to the Connect to Innovate Program, a new Universal Broadband Fund, and investments from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
- The Connectivity Strategy charts a course on how to maximize these investments, how the Government of Canada is leveraging the range of tools at its disposal, and how it will be expanding on its collaboration with the private sector, provinces and territories, municipalities, and Indigenous communities.
- Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity.