Push for Gig internet in rural Ontario

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Push for Gig internet in rural Ontario

EASTERN ONTARIO – The Eastern Ontario Rural Network (EORN) is pushing to implement faster internet in the rural areas of Eastern Ontario, including the United Counties of SD&G.

They are currently seeking federal and provincial support in the amount of $1.6 million for a public-private partnership to bring Gig internet to rural homes and businesses.

Gig internet refers to an broadband internet speed of 1 gigabyte (GB) download speed per second. This would make a significant difference in homes in rural areas where the internet speed is sometimes measured in kilobytes (KB) per second (1 GB = 10,000 KB).

The Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has declared that an internet download speed of 50 megabytes (MB) per second and an upload speed of  10 MB per second as the minimum level of internet service. According to the EORN, it is unlikely that rural Ontario will reach this standard before 2030 without public investment.

“Demand for broadband is growing exponentially. Half-measures and baby steps won’t get us there. We need a long-term solution,” said EORN Chair J. Murray Jones. “The EORN Gig Project is a lasting investment in our prosperity. Asking rural customers to settle for the minimum level of service when urban residents and businesses currently enjoy far greater speeds is just not acceptable. Our residents and businesses need to be on the same playing field as those in towns and cities,” said Jones.

The EORN Gig Project would cover the following 13 municipalities in Eastern Ontario:

  • County of Frontenac
  • County of Haliburton
  • County of Hastings
  • City of Kawartha Lakes (single tier)
  • County of Lanark
  • United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
  • County of Lennox and Addington
  • County of Northumberland
  • County of Peterborough
  • United Counties of Prescott and Russell
  • County of Prince Edward (single tier)
  • County of Renfrew
  • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

EORN is a non-profit organization setup by the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC) dedicated to bringing improved internet and cellular services to rural Eastern Ontario.

“This would be a game-changer for eastern Ontario to attract and retain businesses and residents, and to compete globally over the long term,” said Andy Letham, Chair of the EOWC.

Share this article