Ontario Bringing Faster, More Reliable Broadband to Thunder Bay Region

Published on January 21, 2021

PHOTO: Municipality of Paipoonge

Improved Internet Access to Benefit Towns and First Nation Communities Across the Northwest

THUNDER BAY — The Ontario government is investing $10.9 million to bring faster broadband to several towns and First Nation communities across Northern Ontario, including a $2.3 million investment for to Township of Oliver Paipoonge and $2.9M for the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission Inc. to bring high-speed internet to rural households and businesses. 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 rural and remote northwestern 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. 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 of $2,337,250 will help the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge upgrade broadband infrastructure that brings access to faster internet to nearly 1,800 homes and businesses in the township.

The Ontario government is also investing $2,907,729 to install broadband infrastructure that ensures access to high-speed internet for 2,360 households and businesses in rural Thunder Bay. Tbaytel is matching the government’s investment for both projects.

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."