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Federal and provincial governments announce $ 318 million to expand broadband in northern Ontario

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The federal and provincial governments are jointly committing $ 318 million to bring broadband infrastructure to all regions of Northern Ontario.

In a joint Aug. 6 announcement, governments said the funds would help provide high-speed internet to more than 50,000 rural households in the region.

It is part of a federal-provincial partnership, announced on July 29, in support of large-scale fiber-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to all corners of the province by 2025.

In addition, the statement said, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is evaluating opportunities offered through the Universal Broadband Fund to provide additional project-by-project financing for significant broadband expansion in partnership with private and institutional investors.

In a separate announcement, the province said it would invest $ 109.2 million in Telesat Lightspeed, a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network developed by Ottawa-based satellite operator Telesat.

(Low Earth orbit satellites have much lower latency (signal travel time between Earth and satellites) compared to current communications satellites, allowing faster internet speeds.)

With its investment, the province said it is securing 40 gigabits of dedicated high-speed satellite bandwidth for local Internet service providers to purchase at discounted rates, enabling them to provide affordable high-speed connectivity services, including LTE and 5G, to various communities across the province.

“Supporting Telesat is investing in economic growth and good jobs in Ontario now and on the horizon,” Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, said in a statement. .

“This is an investment in the continued research and development and commercialization of satellite technologies in Ontario with economic benefits that will resonate in communities across the province. “

According to the province, the network is expected to come into service in the first half of 2024.

The province aims to connect 100% of Ontarians by 2025, while the federal government wants 100% of Canadians to be connected by 2030.


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