Another $680 million for better internet connectivity

By Lindsay Advocate

“In the 21st century, connectivity is not a luxury – it is a necessity."

Today Mayor Andy Letham joined Mayor Brent Devolin, Mayor of Minden Hills, at the Haliburton County Public Library in Minden Hills for a Provincial announcement regarding investment in broadband connectivity.

Premier Doug Ford was joined by Rod Phillips, minister of finance, Laurie Scott, minister of infrastructure, and Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the treasury board, to announce a commitment of an additional $680 million on top of the $315 million already committed to support Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan.

This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond.

Letham, also chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus, and board member of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) offered remarks on what the investment means to Eastern Ontario.

“In the 21st century, connectivity is not a luxury – it is a necessity. It is a social, cultural, and economic lifeline for students, families, businesses, and seniors in communities across the province. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted this need,” he said in a media release.

“Members of the AMO and the Rural Ontario Municipal Association have been calling for investments in broadband infrastructure, particularly now as we try to recover from COVID-19 and strive for long-term prosperity.

Today’s announcement by the Province of Ontario, on top of previous investments in connectivity, are welcome and appreciated. It will help connect more homes and businesses in Ontario communities, increase their economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life for residents and businesses.”

Letham thanked Ford, Scott, and other Ontario cabinet ministers for their leadership on this matter, noting that these commitments will help Ontario build a stronger economy for the future.

Over the past several months, Ontario has partnered with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) to invest $71 million in a $213 million project to improve access to cellular service and mobile broadband in Eastern Ontario.

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