Eastern Ontario is set to get a boost to their cellular broadband and connectivity.
It’s thanks to a $71 million investment by the Federal government, which is on top of the $71 million that the Provincial government is pitching in to help with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s mobile broadband project. The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus will also be providing $10 million for the project with more money coming in from the private sector to the cover the $200 million needed for the project.
“This is a game changer for Eastern Ontario,” MP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington Mike Bossio says. Phase one of the project will see 317 telecommunications towers installed with an additional 32 local internet access points. Bossio says once again Eastern Ontario is a leader when it comes to connectivity.
Madawaska Valley Township Mayor Kim Love says the announcement is hugely important to safety and economic development. She said it was important to close cell service gaps in case of emergencies. She says better broadband will allow for more opportunities for people to move up and work from the cottage. She says that kind of influx of people, jobs and growth will be super important to the Township. She also mentioned rural internet providers will be able to better serve those who need it in those areas. She says urban customers shifting people to different services will free up space for those who really need it in the country.
“This is going to be transformational for creating jobs,” Bossio says. With a potential 3,000 fulltime jobs on the horizon thanks to this funding, he says everyone from small businesses to banks in the region will see an improvement. “We have so many people that want to move to our rural areas, that want to work remotely in our rural areas, but they can’t because they don’t have that connectivity,” he says.
Bossio notes that this investment is not just important in creating jobs, but making the community safer as well. He told the story of a grandfather who was out cutting wood with his grandson who had a tree fall on him. Bossio says the grandfather wasn’t able to get an ambulance to where they were because they were working in a dead zone. “we need to ensure that all rural Canadians can live in rural Canada safely and this is going to do that,” he says.