Bell announced on April 23 that it has accelerated the rollout of its new Wireless Home Internet (WHI) service in rural Canada as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis, and is on track to reach 137,000 more homes than originally planned by the end of this month.

“Bell’s Wireless Home Internet program is dedicated to bringing full broadband Internet speeds to rural communities and other traditionally underserved locations. And with WHI usage growing 40% over the last month, the COVID-19 crisis has clearly underscored the value of the service to customers in smaller communities,” said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada. “With the scale of our operations and the depth of our team, Bell is a company uniquely positioned to lead the way in delivering high-speed Internet access to rural Canada. Our accelerated rollout to 137,000 additional rural households in 180 individual communities this month is both an immediate response to COVID-19 and part of our work to connect even more rural Canadians for generations to come.”

“Our government is proud of organizations across the country that are stepping up to help respond in these unprecedented times and we are thankful to Bell Canada for this initiative,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We know that high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity for all Canadians. Our government is working hard, with the private sector, provinces, communities and Indigenous organizations, to make sure that rural Canadians have access to high speed Internet, no matter where they live.”

The accelerated buildout announced today will bring new or enhanced broadband access to approximately 180 communities in Québec and Ontario, including agricultural regions, smaller towns and other rural locations.

“Now more than ever, we need to stay connected,” said the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “I welcome Bell’s leadership and the support it will offer Canadians in these challenging times. We will get through these trying times by taking care of our neighbours and staying together, apart. This announcement helps more Canadians do that.”

“Bell’s announcement is welcome news for rural Ontarians, especially given COVID-19 and the critical need for broadband so people can work, learn, and access services,” said Allan Thompson, Chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA). “ROMA and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario have been calling for solutions and we welcome this step in seeing more rural Ontarians connected.”

Bell is ready to support customers facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 situation while also waiving certain usage charges and providing free access to a wide range of news, family and entertainment channels on Bell TV:

To help Canadians working from home or in isolation we are waiving overage fees for residential Internet customers across our Bell brands until June 30. For our wireless customers travelling abroad, Roam Better and pay per use roaming charges will be waived until April 30.

Consumer and small business customers in rural and remote locations using Turbo Hubs, Turbo Sticks and MiFi devices are receiving an extra 10GB of data and a $10 credit.


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