The province is helping Kawartha Lakes residents build stronger connections through a $2 million partnership with Cogeco to provide high-speed Internet access.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott broke the news Friday (October 28) morning in Omemee; one of 12 communities that will be affected by the investment. The funds are part of more than $30 million in funding that will allow the company and Bell to expand reliable high-speed Internet access across the riding.
“This is great news for our community and for those who have been waiting for high-speed internet connections for several years,” said Scott, who has worked for years to finally get the initiative off the ground. “By 2025, we hope everyone will be connected to broadband in the Kawartha Lakes.
Scott added that high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses has always been a top priority, but it has become even more crucial thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of schools, businesses and services – including health care – put immense pressure on online services that were insufficient or non-existent in some areas of the constituency.
“Through the partnership between Bell, Cogeco and our federal and provincial governments…we are ensuring that we can thrive in this digital world,” said Scott, adding that information technology plays an important role in economic recovery and future growth by creating jobs. in local communities.
The Cogeco partnership will provide approximately 836 households in the Greenhurst-Thurstonia, Omemee and Pleasant Point areas with high-speed internet access by March 2024. The Bell partnership will work to connect communities such as Bobcaygeon, Bolsover, Coboconk, Haliburton, Kirkfield, Norland and Victoria Place – a total of nearly 16,000 homes – by December 2025.
“Access to high-speed Internet for our rural residents and businesses has always been a top priority for the City of Kawartha Lakes. even more so during the pandemic, when people relied on it to stay connected to work, school and family,” Mayor Andy Letham added. “This funding from the Ontario government is a good start to get there. Adding high-speed Internet to our smaller, more rural communities can be a great equalizer for residents and businesses in these areas. Seeing this roll out in the community is definitely good news.
Newly elected Mayor Doug Elmslie agrees.
“There was a time when broadband and even basic internet was a luxury. I don’t think it’s a luxury anymore; it’s a necessity,” Elmslie said. “I can’t wait for everyone has connectivity throughout the municipality.”