Norm Miller MPP Parry Sound - Muskoka

Ontario Improving Internet and Cell Service in Rural and Remote Communities

July 25th, 2019

Plan will connect up to 220,000 homes and businesses

PARRY SOUND, ON – Families and businesses in rural and remote communities can look forward to high-speed internet and better cellphone service as the province releases its first-ever, $315 million plan to improve and expand service.

“Our government is committed to help families and businesses stay connected, no matter where they live,” said Norman Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka. “This investment is big news for parts of Parry Sound-Muskoka where broadband and cellular service are not available.”

The plan includes a $150 million commitment for a new broadband fund, which will leverage private sector funding along with support from other levels of government, to drive investment and expansion to unserved and underserved communities.

Ontario’s plan is expected to generate up to $1 billion in total investment over five years, resulting in new connections for up to 220,000 homes and businesses. This will lead to community, social and economic benefits well beyond the provincial investment.

“Too many people, especially those living in rural and remote communities, do not have access to reliable internet access,” said Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott. “It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”

In the 2019 Ontario Budget, the provincial government announced $315 million over the next five years for broadband and cellular expansion. Ontario is also addressing barriers to infrastructure expansion by maximizing the use of existing government assets and programs and cutting red tape to encourage broadband and cellular expansion.