Ontario Improving Internet and Cell Phone Service in Rural and Remote Communities – Plan will connect up to 220,000 new homes and businesses

TORONTO — The Government of Ontario is supporting families and businesses in rural communities by releasing its first-ever, $315 million plan to improve and expand broadband high-speed internet and cell service. 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.

“Our government is committed to helping businesses, families and farms stay connected, regardless of where they live,” said Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman. “This investment will help move projects ahead, build the infrastructure we need, and get people and business in Oxford connected.”

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. This will lead to community, social and economic benefits well beyond the provincial investment. Ontario is also supporting the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project in Southwestern Ontario, committing up to $63.7 million in funding toward SWIFT’s total project costs of more than $190 million.

“Too many people, especially rural residents, do not have reliable internet access meaning they can’t work from home, stay regularly connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care,” said Hardeman. “That’s why we are making this investment to strengthen rural broadband and ensure that everyone in Oxford can stay connected to the services they depend on.”

Media inquiries please contact:

Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(519) 537-5222