Government invests over $6 million to bring high-speed Internet to central and eastern Ontario

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Through the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $6 million in federal funding for Bell, Cogeco Connexion and Lakeland Networks. These investments will bring high-speed Internet to rural residents in 15 communities including, Leeds and Grenville, Merrickville-Wolford and Spencerville. These projects will connect 2,374 underserved households in eastern and central Ontario to high-speed Internet. The funding will be distributed as follows; Bell: $2,637,164, Cogeco Connexion: $2,855,180 and Lakeland Networks: $701,055.

The $2.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund was launched on November 9, 2020. The projects announced last week were approved within six months of the formal launch of the program. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

“It’s important for our community to receive its fair share of federal funding for critical projects and services, and after advocating to bring faster Internet access to rural residents in our community, today’s federal funding announcement will help to connect more homes and businesses who especially now rely on high-speed Internet to work and learn from home, and to stay connected with their loved ones,” said Michael Barrett, MP for Leeds Grenville Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

When the Universal Broadband Fund was first announced in 2019, local municipalities, Internet service providers, and private sector companies in the region partnered together to improve connectivity for Edwardsburgh-Cardinal and Merrickville-Wolford.

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