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Ontario Expanding Broadband in Rural and Northern Communities

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Ontario Expanding Broadband in Rural and Northern Communities

Investments in Cellular and Satellite Technologies Will Improve Connectivity

Ministry of Infrastructure

Ontario is helping to ensure people in rural and northern communities have access to reliable and affordable high-speed broadband internet. 

As announced in the 2018 Ontario Budget, the government is investing $500 million over three years to expand broadband connectivity in rural and northern communities.

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, was in Belleville today to announce two new investments as part of that commitment to support increased broadband access:

  • EORN (Eastern Ontario Regional Network) -Up to $71 million towards addressing cellular coverage and capacity gaps in eastern Ontario. This will help address the gap in geographic coverage in unserved and underserved communities and increase average speeds in underserved areas.

  • Telesat- Ontario will invest $20 million to support Telesat with a satellite project, enabling access to secure broadband services in rural and remote Ontario.

These commitments will help improve broadband and mobile connectivity in rural and northern communities and create a stronger, more connected Ontario.

Expanding broadband is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Since 2007, the government has committed close to $530 million in broadband infrastructure investments in communities across Ontario.
  • This includes a $67.5 million in a partnership with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to support broadband coverage or service expansion projects in the north.
  • It also includes up to $30 million to improve access to distance education, skills training and new business opportunities for five Matawa-member communities in remote northern Ontario.

Additional Resources


“The availability of high-speed internet and mobile connectivity is critical to access important resources and services such as health care and education. These investments in broadband infrastructure will drastically improve connectivity in rural and northern communities and increase connectivity in underserved communities.”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Infrastructure

“These investments will help families and businesses, particularly in those underserved areas, to have more affordable access to this technology. Investing in broadband infrastructure will not only keep people connected, but it will also help our rural and northern communities create jobs and grow their local economies.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

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