Ontario Expanding Access to the Modern Digital Economy

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The Ontario government is expanding access to reliable broadband and cellular service in underserved and unserved parts of the province. The application intake for the $150 million Improving Connectivity for Ontario program (ICON) opens today. This funding will help drive economic investment and job creation across the province, while allowing more people to work from home more efficiently, engage in online learning, and connect with family and friends.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 reinforced the need to improve access to reliable broadband and cellular service as more people work and learn from home in order to practice physical distancing,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. “By making these investments we will help to ensure every region in the province can participate in the modern digital economy, and contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery.”

Any areas across Ontario that do not meet the national standards for broadband speeds would be eligible for provincial funding. Up to 12 per cent of households in the province – mostly in rural, remote or northern areas – don’t have adequate broadband service, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Telecommunication service providers, municipalities, Indigenous communities and non-profits are invited to submit innovative proposals and lend their investment, expertise and experience to improve connectivity in communities across Ontario. The preliminary application deadline for the first intake of the ICON program is August 21, 2020.

The province’s investment of $150 million announced today is part of the $315 million Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan. This action plan has the potential to leverage up to $1 billion in partner funding for broadband infrastructure investments.

7 COMMENTS

  1. When I lived out on St Joe’s there weren’t any good options for reliable high speed internet. This was back when Netflix was still in its infancy, so streaming wasn’t nearly as common place as it is now, but the lack of broadband definitely handcuffed internet usage. I have no idea if it’s improved now, but if not I hope it will be for the people out there.

    • Lisa M. Souliere this is insane… people have got to wake up, ugh 😑 they think the ferrochrome industry is dangerous for the Soo and I agree but this isn’t any better, I won’t be sticking around

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