Ontarians in rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that too many Canadians in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Now more than ever, Canadians need access to reliable high-speed Internet to work, learn and connect with friends and family from home. Through the Universal Broadband Fund‘s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet.
Today, the Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $192,000 in federal funding to bring high-speed Internet to rural residents of rural communities in Vaughan and East Gwillimbury in partnership with Bell. These projects will connect 113 underserved households in rural Ontario to high-speed Internet.
The Universal Broadband Fund was launched on November 9, 2020. Projects funded under the now $2.75-billion 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 452 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.
“Rural broadband is a priority for York Region communities, which I will continue to champion as a Member of Parliament. Today’s investment is the next step in our ongoing work to connect every Canadian to reliable, high-speed Internet, which provides better access to health care, online learning services and jobs, and helps keep people connected to their loved ones. Canadians’ access to high-speed Internet should not depend on their postal code, so the Government of Canada has made expanding access to high-speed Internet a top priority.”
– The Honourable Deb Schulte, Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for King-Vaughan
“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 $237,300 and to partner with the Government of Canada to provide access to the fastest fibre home Internet speeds available.”
– Bruce Furlong, Senior Vice-President, Access Engineering and Deployment, Bell Canada
Bell will receive $48,800 to connect 44 households in East Gwillimbury and $143,800 to connect 69 households in Vaughan.
The Government of Canada has committed over $240 million to 40 connectivity projects in Ontario, which will connect over 87,000 more households to better, faster Internet.
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.