Ontarians in rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity
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, Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Orléans, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $620,000 in federal funding for Rogers to bring high-speed Internet to residents of rural Ontario. This project will connect 146 underserved households in the Carlsbad Springs area, around the communities of Navan, Vars and Blackburn Hamlet, to high-speed Internet.
The Universal Broadband Fund was launched in November 2020. Projects funded under the $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.
“The pandemic has brought to light the importance of being connected to proper broadband services. That’s why I am so pleased to see the federal government invest in rural communities in the Carlsbad Springs area, around the communities of Navan, Vars and Blackburn Hamlet, to improve Internet services, allowing residents to access services remotely, making work and education accessible. For these families, connectivity is not a luxury, but a necessity.”
– Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Orléans
“We are pleased to be working together with the community of Carlsbad Springs to understand its needs and help deliver reliable broadband services to its residents. Whether it is working remotely, studying online, accessing virtual health care services or running a business, high-speed connectivity is essential to keeping Canadians connected to the people and things that matter most.”
– Phil Hartling, Executive Vice President, Service Expansion, Rogers
“Today’s announcement targets 146 homes in 5 residential areas in Carlsbad Springs. The planned Rogers high-speed Internet expansion will change many lives in our area and promote its economic and social development. It is a game changer for many homeowners who have struggled for many years with poor or limited Internet service and connectivity.”
– Denis Labrèche, past president of the Carlsbad Springs Community Association
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 $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.