Faster internet service on the way to Northern Ontario

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is contributing $10.9 million to bring faster broadband to several towns and First Nation communities across Northern Ontario.

“Now more than ever, residents in Northern Ontario and across the province need access to faster, more reliable broadband service,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “Our investments will make it easier for people to work and learn from home, run their businesses, access vital services and connect with others.”

Ontario’s investments will:

  • build infastructure that brings high-speed broadband to more areas in Chisholm, Marathon, Terrace Bay, rural Thunder Bay and Oliver Paipoonge
  • construct a new 22-kilometre fibre backbone network that brings high-speed broadband to Seine River First Nation, Couchiching First Nation, Rainy River First Nations, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation and Big Grassy First Nation; and
  • upgrade the speed and capacity of the K-Net network, owned by Keewaytinook Okimakanak and which serves more than 80 First Nation communities, while supporting future upgrades.

The money comes from the Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan and improve internet service to more than 7,000 households and businesses across the North.

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the challenges facing our northern and remote communities, including access to reliable, high-speed internet,” said Greg Rickford, minister of energy, Northern development and mines and minister of Indigenous affairs.

“Efficient and modern broadband infrastructure is critical to advancing economic recovery and development in Northern Ontario. Our government’s investment is an important step forward to ensure communities across the North have access to remote education, skills training, and business opportunities.”

Ontario has invested in several initiatives to improve connectivity in Northern Ontario, including broadband projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Next Generation Network Program.

Approved projects:

Community Project Details Provincial Funding Additional Funding
Town of Marathon and Township of Terrace Bay Upgrade infrastructure to bring access to faster broadband to about 2,700 homes and businesses. $4.2 million Tbaytel: $4 million

 

Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission Inc. Install broadband infrastructure that ensures access to high-speed internet for 2,360 households and businesses. $3 million Tbaytel: $3 million
Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge Upgrade broadband infrastructure to nearly 1,800 homes and businesses. $2.3 million Tbaytel: $2.3 million
Rainy River Future Development Corporation Construct a new 22-kilometre fibre backbone network. $ 1 million Bell Canada: $268,300
Blue Sky Economic Growth Corp. Upgrade broadband infrastructure for 200 homes and businesses. $267,000 Township of Chisholm: $29,719

Spectrum Group: $127,368

Keewaytinook Okimakanak Upgrade K-Net’s network, providing improved speed and capacity to a network that serves more than 80 First Nation communities. $168,000 Keewaytinook Okimakanak: $100,500

 

 

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