More high-speed internet funding announced

Darlene Wroe

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

DISTRICT – Several local communities will benefit from a new funding stream for high-speed internet.

The federal and provincial governments announced a fund of over $61 million on March 3 to assist Bell Canada, the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, and Keewaytinook Okimakanak to bring high-speed internet access to more than 16,000 homes in rural Ontario.

"Bell will be expanding its all-fibre broadband network to these communities by 2025 in line with the Government of Ontario's timeline,” said Bell Canada corporate communications spokesperson Jacqueline Michelis in an email to The Speaker.

There are several small communities across Northern Ontario that will benefit from the announcement as well including Englehart, Earlton, Charlton, Latchford, Thornloe and Tomstown.

"The projects being announced... are part of an existing partnership between Ontario and Canada,” said the provincial government in a press release.

The partnership supports “large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 households and businesses across the province.

"On April 19, 2022, the governments announced an additional joint federal-provincial investment of more than $56 million for six new projects that will bring reliable high-speed internet access to over 6,500 homes and businesses in Northern and Southwestern Ontario."

The March 3 announcement "builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed internet by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030. The announcement also brings the Government of Ontario closer to achieving its goal of bringing reliable high-speed internet access to every community by the end of 2025."

Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker