Infrastructure Canada



Infrastructure Canada
Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus



Eastern Ontario Wardens
Government of Ontario



Government of Ontario

June 26, 2013 10:24 ET

Improved High-Speed Internet Now Available in the South Nation Zone

L'ORIGNAL, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - Residents and businesses in Eastern Ontario now have improved access to wireless high-speed Internet services, as part of the launch of the South Nation zone of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network celebrated today.

The South Nation zone includes an estimated 12,000 households and numerous businesses over a 1,200-square-kilometre area that encompasses Alfred, Bourget, L'Orignal, Rockland and surrounding areas, covering a substantial northern portion of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

"Our government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Access to broadband has become as essential to economic prosperity as electricity and roads. It provides individuals and communities with opportunities for educational advancement, economic development, and innovation. It breaks down the barriers of distance and time, allowing residents of rural areas like the South Nation zone to participate in economic and civic life far beyond their geographic region," said Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. "Our government is proud to support the development of improved Internet access across Eastern Ontario."

"Today's announcement illustrates the Ontario government's commitment to strengthening rural communities in eastern Ontario," said Grant Crack, Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Rural Affairs and the Minister of Agriculture and Food and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs. "Rural communities will now have a tool to be investment-ready, to attract jobs and growth while enabling access to modern, high-speed Internet services for residents."

"Today's launch is a significant stepping stone towards our goal of providing higher speeds and bandwidth to at least 95 per cent of homes in Eastern Ontario," said Rick Phillips, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC). "This improved broadband access will support economic growth and enhance our quality of life by connecting Eastern Ontario to the world."

"The South Nation zone demonstrates how EORN is working with multiple partners in order to expand broadband access to as many people as possible," said David Burton, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN). "We are pleased that the project continues to progress on schedule and on budget."

"It is great to see the continued expansion of broadband in Eastern Ontario as a result of Bell Aliant's partnership with EORN," said John Swantee, Director Network Strategy, Bell Aliant. 'Building on the fibre backbone we completed last year, we are particularly pleased to extend high-speed Internet access to customers in the South Nation Zone."

"We are very pleased to have been a part of such an important broadband project for the residents and businesses of Prescott and Russell and to have completed on time, and under budget," said Sue Good, Vice President of Dealer Sales, Xplornet Communications Inc. "Our mission is to make the transformational power of real, high-speed Internet available to every Canadian regardless of where they live. We are excited to have been part of achieving that goal right here in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell."

Once the entire Eastern Ontario Regional Network is completed, it will improve high-speed access throughout the nearly 50,000 square kilometres of Eastern Ontario, a region encompassing the counties of Hastings, Peterborough, Renfrew, Northumberland, Haliburton, Frontenac, Lanark, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, as well as the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to one-third of total eligible costs of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, to a maximum contribution of $55 million each. EOWC Inc. is contributing $10 million and private sector partners are providing the remaining funding.

Funding from the Government of Canada is being provided through the Building Canada Fund - Major Infrastructure Component, which targets larger, strategic projects of national or regional significance.

Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 is delivering a New Building Canada Plan to build roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail, and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories, and municipalities. Thanks to the Government of Canada's leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 1 million net new jobs created since July 2009. The New Building Canada Plan, combined with other federal infrastructure investments, will support Canada's infrastructure advantage, a key enabler of economic growth and job creation.

Since 2003, Ontario has invested approximately $85 billion in infrastructure. Building modern, efficient infrastructure has created or preserved close to 100,000 jobs each year, on average, making Ontario's economy more productive and improving quality of life, now and in the future.

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For additional information about Canada's investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit Infrastructure Canada.

For ongoing information about progress in rural Ontario, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Rural Affairs.

BACKGROUNDER

The Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) is spearheading a $170 million broadband project that will see improved access to high-speed Internet across Eastern Ontario by 2014. Since a high-speed connection is essential for a host of services and information delivered by the Internet, expanding this access is critical to improving communities' quality of life and economic growth.

Once completed, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), Ontario's largest rural broadband network project, will provide broadband service to residents and businesses in many of the counties of Eastern Ontario, including Hastings, Peterborough, Renfrew, Northumberland, Haliburton, Frontenac, Lanark, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, the United Counties of Prescott & Russell, the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville, as well as the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to one-third of total eligible costs of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, to a maximum contribution of $55 million each. EOWC Inc. and private sector partners are providing the remaining funding, with EOWC Inc. contributing $10 million. Bell and Bell Aliant have contributed $23 million combined towards the fibre optic network backbone.

The project is made up of three main components:

  • Backbone: A scalable 5,500 kilometre network of new and existing fibre optic cable connected by new generation high-speed switches in 160 Points of Presence throughout Eastern Ontario. Construction on this wired portion of the network began in 2011.
  • Access: Links the end-user, such as businesses and residents, to the network through either wired or fixed wireless technology. EORN will promote high-speed bandwidth access that bridges the urban/rural price gap. Internet service providers (ISPs) have bid and received funding to assist in improving and adding new infrastructure.
  • Satellite: Ensures no one is left behind by providing satellite access for those that the wireless and wired network cannot reach. Improved and more affordable satellite services are now available through Xplornet Communications Inc. by contacting any of the company's dealers across the EORN region.

The overall project encompasses a region of more than one million people over 50,000 square kilometres, and aims to improve access to the Internet to at least 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Eastern Ontario with higher speeds and bandwidth, a majority of which will see speeds up to 10 Mbps. A mix of wired, wireless and satellite technologies will be required to deliver high-speed access across the varied terrain and remote communities of the region. EORN will choose technology based on the best fit for the needs of a particular area and is negotiating improved rates from ISPs through a competitive proposal process.

Contact Information

  • Marie-Josee Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure
    and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development
    Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, (FAX)
    and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
    613-991-0700

    Damien O'Brien
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Ontario Minister of Rural Affairs
    416-326-3072

    Lisa Severson
    Eastern Ontario Regional Network
    613-213-8520

    Norma Hughes
    Bell Aliant
    877-647-3443

    Morten Paulsen
    Xplornet Communications Inc.
    403-399-3377
    morten@paulsengroup.ca

    Infrastructure Canada
    613-960-9251
    Toll-free 1-877-250-7154