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Federal funding helps bring fibre internet to 242 properties in Rednersville/Albury areas in PEC

Federal funding of $700,000 will help bring high speed fibre internet to 242 “underserviced” properties in the County’s Rednersville and Albury areas and a further 869 high-speed connections in Bancroft – by the fall, or early next year.

The funds are from the Rapid Response Stream sector of the federal government’s $2.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund launched last fall.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis announced funding Thursday of $140,915 for Cogeco to help connect 242 households in Rednersville and Albury areas and $563,161 to Bell to get 869 properties in Bancroft area to high speed internet. Cogeco is investing an additional $324,000 and Bell an additional $1.7 million.

“This project is another important step toward our government’s plan to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet by 2030,” said Ellis.

“All of us know that access to high speed, high quality internet is essential in our increasingly digital and online world,” said Ellis. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to stay home, stay away from our places of work, stay apart from our loved ones. This reality has reinforced our dependence on high speed internet to go to school, access virtual healthcare and connect with one another.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson said the investments are welcome as “access to a strong internet connection is a deal-breaker for those who work at home, either by choice, or by necessity during the pandemic”; for local businesses who have pivoted to online and teachers and families struggling to participate in online schooling.

“This past year especially, has highlighted gaps in connectivity,” he said. “Broadband access is key to economic and social development and the growth of our community. We very much appreciate the support and certainly hope the federal government continues to give favourable consideration to additional broadband expansion projects in Prince Edward County in the near future.”

The objective of the $150 million Rapid Response Stream of the $175 billion Universal Broadband Fund is help fund projects that will connect 98 per cent of Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026 and achieve a national target of 100 per cent by 2030. Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.

It allocates contributions of up to $5 million to projects that can be deployed quickly and have a big impact on networks in rural and remote areas where internet service speeds have not yet reached 50/10 Mbps.

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