Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Feds, province, announce rural broadband funding

The Ontario and federal governments both announced 

funding for broadband delivery to rural and remote communities.

In Ontario, the government added $650 million to its funding for the program, bringing the total to $1 billion.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers announced they will begin in March to install broadband that will reach 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026.

They repeated a budget item from 2019 that pegged $1.75 billion for the project.

In Ontario, president Keith Currie of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said the investment is going to benefit all of society, not just rural and Northern Ontario communities but urban as well.

“You’ll be able to get the 5G in place fairly quickly,” said Currie. “That opens up the door for much better broadband internet service to lots of parts of Ontario, including Northern Ontario.”

"We were ready to go in March with the new Universal Broadband Fund and then the pandemic hit," said federal Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef.