Three municipal partners were the first to be awarded funding recently under the Ontario government’s new broadband access program.
CEONET – a partnership of the Township of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry;
the United Counties of Prescott-Russell; and the First Nations Mohawk
reserve of Akewsasne – were given $1.2 million as part of the Connect Ontario: Broadband Regional Access (COBRA) initiative. The money will be used to develop a comprehensive telecommunications infrastructure to provide broadband access for the townships, libraries, educational facilities and business groups.
“In eastern Ontario, we are excited about this announcement, and we look forward to working with our municipal partners in building the new infrastructure for our region,” said Brenda Wilson, CEO of CEONET.
COBRA is a three-year, $55-million program that brings high-speed telecommunications to northern and rural communities across the province. The program encourages public-private partnerships in creating broadband connectivity. Government costs will be shared with these partnerships, and communities will be expected to get funding from other sources.
“In laying down the necessary technology infrastructure, all regions across Ontario will have broadband access,” said Jim Flaherty, the province’s minister of enterprise, opportunity and innovation. “This will give communities the opportunity to market themselves throughout the province and on a global scale. COBRA allows business to remain or relocate in the community of their choice, helping to create and maintain jobs and stimulate the local economy.”