More than 300 rural Niagara households will soon have access to better internet thanks to three new projects funded through the Universal Broadband Fund’s Rapid Response stream.

Announced on Feb. 8 by Minister for Rural Economic Development Maryam Monsef, the Niagara Regional Broadband Network and Mornington Communications Co-operative will receive a nearly $2.2 million fund to help connect 310 underserved households with high-speed internet.

These projects target regions of Niagara-on-the-lake, Niagara Falls, Rothsay, Drayton and St. Catharines.

The Rapid Response Stream is part of the $1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) launched on November 9, 2020. Out of the $1.75 billion, the federal government allocated $150 million to projects that could start service in Nov 15, 2021.

The Universal Broadband Fund is part of Canada’s Connectivity Strategy. Through public and private funding initiatives, Canada plans to bring 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload broadband internet to 90 per cent of Canadians by the end of 2021. By 2026, the country wants 98 per cent of Canadians covered, and 100 per cent by 2030.

“Our government has committed over $205 million to 17 connectivity projects in Ontario, which will connect 19,657 more households to better, faster Internet,” said Monsef in the news release. “We will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian to the high-speed Internet they need.”

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