The following information was shared by the Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure. 

“In our increasingly digital world, we need to be connected. This means being able to quickly send an email, check our cell phones for directions or enjoy an online video chat with friends or family.

Students need to be connected to finish homework assignments or take a university course online. Hard-working people need to be able to easily and immediately access digital resources on the go or to work remotely. Families want to stream video to their living rooms, pay bills with the click of a mouse and securely receive medical test results faster. For businesses across all sectors, whether it’s manufacturing, agriculture or e-commerce, they all depend on fast, reliable connections.

It is unacceptable to this government that not everyone in Ontario has access to the broadband or cellular connections they need. In fact, as much as 12% of our population lives in communities – mostly rural, remote or northern areas – that are unserved or underserved. We need to do better.

That’s why we are introducing Ontario’s first-ever broadband and cellular action plan. It outlines why fast and reliable connectivity is critical to delivering on our commitment to make Ontario open for business and jobs. Connected communities attract significant and lasting investments, which boost the local and provincial economy, improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.

We are committed to delivering improved digital government service and supporting access to quality internet connections, so the people of Ontario can access these vital services.

As Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, I am proud to share our government’s action plan to bring better broadband and cellular service to all parts of our province. The plan outlines action on four key fronts:

  • delivering regional and shovel-ready projects
  • launching a new program to expand access to unserved and underserved communities
  • maximizing existing programs and government assets
  • reducing red tape and removing barriers to infrastructure expansion

We believe the government can be the catalyst for getting reliable, affordable broadband and cellular service across the province. We will bring together private-sector telecommunications partners and other levels of government to find solutions that work. We will leverage taxpayer dollars responsibly for investments in communities that need it most.

Our actions will result in the connection of up to 220,000 households and businesses.

We know this will be an ongoing initiative. We look forward to working with people, businesses and communities to ensure a connected Ontario.”