April 4, 2023
Will the government act on its promises to improve internet access in northern and remote communities?
France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, asked the Premier this morning if the government will finally use the money designated in the budget for infrastructure, and follow through on promises to provide fast, reliable and affordable internet to Northern and remote communities.
“Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Premier, in my riding, many people and businesses are dependent on slow, unreliable, expensive internet. I have met with every internet provider. None of them is interested in setting up in Nickel Belt; as there is no money to be made. You can pay for all the infrastructure; they are not coming. So, we use phone lines with a 5mb download and 2mb upload speed.
How can businesses thrive with this? The Government keeps claiming they’ll spend billions on broadband, but last year they spent less than 2% of that money. Will the government finally get that money out the door and put in place a government-run system for fast and reliable internet at a reasonable price?”
Until 2014, much of Northern Ontario had publicly administered internet services through Ontera. This was given to Bell nine years ago, and since then, there have been no updates to the infrastructure serving Ontera customers.