May 18, 2021 - Local momentum continues to build for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) Gig Project. Municipal heads of Council representing One hundred and four (104) municipalities from across Eastern Ontario have signed onto a letter urging the federal and provincial governments to support the project, which aims to connect homes and businesses across the region with ultra-fast internet speeds.
The letter to federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development Maryam Monsef and Ontario’s Infrastructure Minister Laurie Scott comes following a meeting of nearly 60 wardens, mayors, and reeves. With strong support for the project among the group, they agreed to develop a letter and seek the support of their peers across the region. The letter is also being sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford.
The project would expand fibre to homes and businesses to deliver internet speeds up to 1 Gig (1,000 Megabits per second). EORN has been seeking federal and provincial support for the public-private partnership valued at up to $1.6 billion. It would include investments by the federal and provincial governments, and the private sector, through EORN’s proven model for expanding connectivity in underserved regions.
EORN is requesting $200 million each from the federal and provincial governments. This is 5.7 per cent of the total funds the governments of Canada and Ontario have committed to broadband expansion. Given that recent analysis shows rural eastern Ontario accounts for about 30% of all under-served households in Ontario, the project offers tremendous value.
The EORN Gig Project offers a comprehensive solution that ensures the region can keep pace with rising demand for connectivity over the long-term. It is critical for the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic and will support future economic growth and improved quality of life.
“In less than two weeks, 104 heads of Council in the region signed on to this letter of support. It clearly shows how essential this broadband project is to our communities. A regional delivery model like EORN has proven to be efficient and effective. Our local governments have limited capacity to manage such projects on their own.”
- Debbie Robinson, Chair of the EOWC and Warden of Renfrew County
“The letter demonstrates that leaders across our region understand that the EORN Gig project would be truly game-changing for our citizens and businesses. We are thankful for their support and hope that our federal and provincial counterparts will listen to our appeal.”
- J. Murray Jones, Chair of EORN and Warden of Peterborough County
“The Gig Project would bring major benefits to our communities, including creating jobs, supporting our children to learn online and to improve access to healthcare services. The mayors of eastern Ontario’s cities and towns are pleased to support this project.”
- Diane Therrien, Chair of EOMC and Mayor of the City of Peterborough
For more information about EORN, EOWC and EOMC please visit: www.eorn.ca