Citing internet access as crucial to economic recovery, Premier Doug Ford announced an additional $150 million to improve broadband and cellular connectivity in rural and remote areas.
Ford noted that more than 600,000 Ontarians – about 12% of the province – don’t have access to reliable internet service.
He called on the federal government to provide additional funding.
Ford added that the Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) when leveraged, has the potential to result in an investment of up to $500 million in total partner funding to improve connectivity in underserved and unserved areas. Program applicants – including telecom companies, municipal governments, Indigenous communities and non-profits – are invited to submit proposals to provide investment, expertise and experience to improve connectivity in communities across Ontario. The province will fund a portion of each approved project.
No Federal Briefing
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not provide a COVID-19 update today. He was otherwise occupied with a Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States.