MP’S VOICE SUPPORT FOR CELL SERVICE UPGRADES

Eastern Ontario Federal MPs voice strong support for critical cellular and broadband improvements to the region

Kawartha Lakes – The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) is pleased that all Members of Parliament representing the region, and from across party lines, have signed strong letters of support to the federal government to help fund proposed cell service improvements for the region.

EORN is proposing a $213 million public-private partnership to improve both the reach and quality of cellular data services in rural Eastern Ontario, which is essential for business investment, jobs and quality of life.

About one-quarter of the area where there are homes, businesses or major roads in the region cannot access any cellular services. Many areas do not have enough capacity to meet growing demand for mobile broadband. These gaps are the result of market failure. A public-private partnership would reduce carriers’ infrastructure costs, creating a stronger business case to improve services.

The project is seeking one-third of the funding from the federal government, one-third from the provincial government and one-third from mobile carriers. Municipal governments across the region, including the City of Kawartha Lakes, have already approved and/or contributed funds for technical work needed for the project.

The incoming Ontario Government committed to the province’s share of $71 million during the election campaign.

In two separate letters, all Members of Parliament from the region are urging the federal government to provide its $71 million share for the project. Jamie Schmale, MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock has signed a letter of support.

About EORN
EORN, a non-profit created by the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), helped to improve broadband access to nearly 90% of Eastern Ontario through a $175 million fixed broadband network funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments and private sector service providers. It works with governments and community organizations to improve and leverage broadband access to fuel economic growth across the region. To learn more, visit EORN’s website.

Quotes
“We would like to express our thanks to all of our federal representatives for their strong support for the project. EORN has a proven track record of delivering outstanding results in collaboration with the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and the private sector.”

EORN Chair, J. Murray Jones

“We welcome this support from our MPs. The backing from across the political spectrum demonstrates just how important this cell project is for the future of our region. We are hopeful that the federal government will listen and fund this critical project.”

EOWC Chair, Robin Jones

“Our Council supports this important project as it supports economic growth and responds to the requests of our residents to strengthen the digital connections we have all come to expect. More and more people are choosing to work from their cottage, or telecommute from their seasonal properties. This is going to make that transition possible.”

Mayor, City of Kawartha Lakes

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For more information, contact Lisa Severson, Communications and Stakeholder Relations Officer, at 613-213-8520 or Lseverson@eorn.ca.