Support for Ontario’s New Investments in Broadband and Cellular Access

November 4, 2020

“We welcome the Government of Ontario’s additional investments to improve broadband and cellular coverage in underserved communities along with the private sector which has invested heavily to expand broadband and cellular service across the province. Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience. For businesses and workers, particularly those practising physical distancing, connectivity is necessary to ensure they can remain productive by using digital tools such as video conferencing. Without adequate access, those in rural and remote regions will be vulnerable to additional layoffs and business closures.”
—Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce”AMO is pleased the Province of Ontario is making additional broadband and cellular investments a priority. Municipal governments hear loud and clear the need for better connectivity from students, families, businesses, and seniors across Ontario. This funding shows Ontario’s commitment to help connect residents and communities to faster and better services.” 
—Graydon Smith, President, Association of Municipalities of Ontario 

“In 2020, connectivity is a necessity, not a luxury. ROMA appreciates the substantial increase in funding for ICON will help make faster broadband a reality for more rural, northern and remote communities. Today’s announcement is a strong signal that Ontario will not leave our residents behind.” 
—Allan Thompson, Chair, Rural Ontario Municipal Association 

“Bell applauds the Government of Ontario for increasing its support of projects that improve broadband and cellular connectivity in rural areas of the province. As Bell continues to close the digital divide by accelerating our own deployment of Wireless Home Internet service to small towns and rural communities, the Ontario government’s expanded program will ensure even more residents and businesses in hard-to-serve rural locations are able to benefit from enhanced connectivity as quickly as possible.” 
—Stephen Howe, Chief Technology Officer, Bell 

“We are pleased that the Government of Ontario has significantly increased its financial commitment to broadband, including through its ICON program. Cogeco has made a four-year commitment to invest more than $1B in the operation and expansion of its network to reach unserved and underserved communities who all deserve a fast and reliable broadband connection. The additional funding announced today will allow more projects to be deployed and more communities in Ontario to be connected.” 
—Frédéric Perron, President, Cogeco Connexion 

“COVID-19 has really brought into focus the need for Canadians in all communities to have access to high-speed internet. We will continue to partner with governments to extend service to rural and remote areas and welcome the expansion of this program, which shows the Ontario government’s commitment to expanding broadband across the province. Our country’s vast geography makes it challenging to connect less populated and more remote areas and we need programs like ICON ― collective efforts between governments and the private sector. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Ontario to provide connectivity to more homes and businesses in underserved communities.” 
—Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers Communications 

“As Canada’s leading rural-focused Internet service provider, Xplornet applauds Ontario’s expansion of the ICON program. The added funds will help drive broadband expansion further and faster in rural Ontario, supporting local communities and creating jobs. We look forward to working closely with Ontario towards this shared goal as we deploy our next-generation networks across the province.” 
—Johanne Senécal, VP, Government and Public Affairs, Xplornet Communications Inc.