Ontario Bringing Faster, More Reliable Broadband to Rainy River and the North

Published on January 20, 2021

Improved Internet Access to Benefit Towns and First Nation Communities Across Northern Ontario

RAINY RIVER DISTRICT — The Ontario government is investing $10.9 million to bring faster broadband to several towns and First Nation communities across Northern Ontario, including a $1 million investment for First Nation communities in the Rainy River District. By investing in improved internet access, Ontario is helping to bridge the digital divide and create more economic opportunity for residents and businesses in the North.

"COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the challenges facing our northern and remote communities, including access to reliable, high-speed internet," said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "Efficient and modern broadband infrastructure is critical to advancing economic recovery and development in Northern Ontario. Our government's investment is an important step forward to ensure communities across the North have access to remote education, skills training, and business opportunities."

Ontario's investment will help the Rainy River Future Development Corporation coordinate with Bell Canada to construct a new 22-kilometre fibre backbone network bring access to connect Seine River First Nation, Couchiching First Nation, Rainy River First Nations, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation, and Big Grassy First Nation to high-speed broadband. The $1 million investment will improve the current network and support potential future fibre expansion within these communities and is being added by a $268,300 investment from Bell Canada.

This investment is part of Up to Speed: Ontario's Broadband and Cellular Action Plan and will bring faster internet to more than 7,000 households and businesses across the North.

 On November 4, 2020, the Ontario government announced an investment of $680 million on top of its existing commitment to improve connectivity in the province, leading to a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years.

 "Now more than ever, residents in Northern Ontario and across the province need access to faster, more reliable broadband service," said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. "Our investments will make it easier for people to work and learn from home, run their businesses, access vital services and connect with others."