THUNDER BAY - The provincial government is investing more than $10 million to bring broadband internet to remote First Nation communities and Northern Ontario, including rural areas around Thunder Bay.
In a release issued Wednesday, the province said it is investing $10.9 million to bridge the digital divide in the north.
“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."
The investment will include building infrastructure to bring high-speed broadband to Chisholm, Marathon, Terrace Bay, and rural Thunder Bay and Oliver Paipoonge.
The investment is part of the province’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan that aims to bring faster internet to more than 7,000 households and businesses across the North.
Other projects include constructing a new 22-kilometre fibre backbone network that brings high-speed broadband to 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.
It will also upgrade the speed and capacity of the Keewatinook Okimakanak K-Net network, which serves more than 80 First Nation communities across Northwestern Ontario.
"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, 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."