The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) is spearheading a public-private partnership with Rogers Communications to improve cell service across the region. Rogers was selected through a competitive bidding process to find a partner that would deliver the most coverage and improved capacity at the best value. Rogers is investing more than $150 million to improve cell services in the region.
This project is valued at more than $300 million and involves the construction of more than 300 new telecommunications sites and the upgrade of more than 300 existing sites over the next four to five years. Work is to be completed by 2025, with new services activated as groups of towers are completed. Construction plans are still being finalized.
Both the federal and provincial governments have committed $71 million each. All municipal members of the Easter Ontario Warden’s Caucus (EOWC) and most of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus (EOMC) have committed to the $10 million municipal share of funding. Rogers Communications’ investments bring the total value of the project to more than $300 million. Rogers was selected through a competitive bidding process.
Some of the communities expected to benefit from this improvement are United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, County of Lennox and Addington, United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
The EORN is a non-profit created by the EOWC and works with governments and community organizations to improve and leverage cellular and broadband access.
From 2010 to 2014, EORN helped to improve broadband access to nearly 90 per cent of eastern Ontario through a $175 million public-private partnership. The network was funded by federal, provincial and municipal governments and private sector service providers. As a result of the project, 423,000 homes and businesses are now able to access services of up to 10 Mbps download.
Since its inception, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) has worked to support and advocate on behalf of the 750,000 property taxpayers across rural eastern Ontario. The EOWC covers an area of 45,000 square kilometres from Cobourg to the Quebec border, and includes 13 upper-tier and single-tier municipalities as well as 90 local municipalities. The EOMC is made up of the Mayors of the 11 urban municipalities (separated, single tier) of Eastern Ontario. The committee meets quarterly as a group with the municipal CAOs in attendance to discuss common issues relevant to municipalities in eastern Ontario.