May 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home. Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.
Today, Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced $999,200 in federal funding to bring high-speed Internet to 4,557 underserved households in the communities of Orono, Hampton, Blackstock, Enniskillen, Columbus, Solina, Manchester, Burketon Station, Pontypool, Raglan, Ashburn, Myrtle Station, Kendal, Nestleton Station, North Oshawa and Macedonian Village. Ruralwave is investing an additional $542,000, and Bell Canada is investing an additional $210,000.
The projects being announced today were approved within six months of the November 2020 formal launch of the now $2.75-billion UBF. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.
Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Ontario. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $2.85 billion in over 4,060 infrastructure projects in Ontario communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 people. These investments mean 481 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 938 projects to provide residents with cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 5,427 additional housing units built in rural communities, helping ensure all Ontarians have a safe place to call home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that reliable, high-speed Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. This significant federal government investment through the Rapid Response Stream of the Universal Broadband Fund will bring Internet access to more than 4000 households across rural areas in Durham, including in Brooklin, Myrtle, Ashburn and the Macedonian Village in Whitby. This high-speed Internet access announcement means more families in our communities will be better supported to work, study and access other essential services from home.”
– Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby
“The last year has put a spotlight on the vital role connectivity plays for Canadians and businesses in communities across Canada. I thank the Government of Canada for their support and investment to connect more Canadians to fixed wireless home Internet in Clarington and Enniskillen and high-speed fibre connectivity in Burketon and Tyrone.”
– Dan Risebrough Barnes, Director of Operations, Ruralwave, powered by Rogers
“Access to high-speed broadband networks will be a driver of Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and of future social and economic prosperity, and Bell has committed to further accelerating our industry-leading capital investment plan over the next two years to connect even more communities across the country. We’re proud to invest $210,000 and to partner with the Government of Canada in providing residents of Macedonian Village with access to the fastest fibre home Internet speeds available.”
– Bruce Furlong, Senior Vice-President, Access Engineering and Deployment, Bell Canada
Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021, and are now being evaluated.
The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023, and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.