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Joint funding will add towers, internet access points to improve coverage in Eastern Ontario

New telecommunications towers and Internet access points to improve overall mobile coverage for Eastern Ontario will move forward with millions of dollars in joint funding.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis announced the joint funding for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s mobile broadband project.

The Government of Canada will contribute up to $71 million to the project under the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Plan. The Government of Ontario will provide $71 million and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) will provide $10 million toward the project, with private partners providing the rest of the funding.

“The demand for mobile broadband is growing exponentially, but our region is deeply lacking the needed infrastructure to keep up,” said Andy Letham, chair of the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus. “This project is our top priority because Eastern Ontario’s economic future is at stake. We are so pleased that the federal government is joining with the province and municipal government to make this project a reality.”

Phase one of the project involves building 317 new telecommunications towers and an additional 32 local Internet access points to improve overall mobile coverage for residents of Eastern Ontario. Phase two will identify capacity gaps that result from heavy user-traffic, upgrade equipment to reduce network overloads, and improve service quality in rural communities.

Once completed, the project is expected to improve mobile coverage for more than 1.1 million residents in 102 communities in Eastern Ontario.

The announcement states the new network will allow businesses to grow and reach new markets, with a potential to create more than 3,000 full time jobs over 10 years.

“For residents and families, extended mobile coverage means better access to mobile applications on a smartphone or tablet. The improved connectivity will also make it easier for people in remote areas to call for help in emergency situations.”

“The capacity to connect with people, research or verify data, even purchase items online has become routine for most Canadians. The fact that not everyone in our community can access this press release online is part of the reason why this federal investment in the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s mobile broadband project represents such an important moment for our riding,” said Ellis. “Our region is one of many which stands to benefit a great deal from the identification of service quality or capacity gaps in our existing broadband networks. More upgrades in the rural infrastructure that serves our local network users will mean better coverage, and easier access to mobile communications applications for all our community members as well as our local businesses and non-profit service providers.”

EORN is building on the investment already made in broadband infrastructure across the region to close the gap in mobile services and improve economic growth, quality of life and public safety.

“We welcome and appreciate the support of the federal government for this project. Combined with provincial and municipal funding, we can now proceed with the next steps to make improved connectivity a reality for our region,” said J. Murray Jones, Chair, Eastern Ontario Regional Network.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson is said improving cellular services in Prince Edward County is important to ensure strong connections to emergency services for quick response times, more efficient business operations, and for residents to be able go about their day-to-day activities without facing slow Internet connection or dropped calls.

“Visitors to the area also expect reliable service, but often become frustrated with the same challenges. This investment for expansion will have a great economic impact on the County because it will better serve the needs of our local residents while having a larger cellular capacity to serve increased demand during peak tourist times.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Ryan says:

    Please, for God’s sake, don’t award Xplornet any contracts.

    Check with the Better Business Bureau if you don’t already know what I’m referring to.

    R

  2. Chris Keen says:

    Although this is an important and long overdue development, let’s not forget that WE are paying for this upgrade whether we use it or not.

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