More Eastern Ontario Residents and Businesses One Step Closer to Improved High-Speed Internet Access

Gananoque, Ontario, December 7, 2012 – Today, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), Mel Campbell, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus and David Burton, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, announced the completion of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network backbone. Residents and businesses in Eastern Ontario will soon enjoy improved access to high-speed Internet now that a massive 5,500-kilometre fibre optic network has been completed four months ahead of schedule. This network will connect local access networks, expanding broadband access to an estimated one million residents and businesses in rural areas.

Dignitaries at the completion event of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network.

From left to right: Craig Schoen, President of DealerPlus, Rick Norlock, Member of Parliament for Northumberland-Quinte West, Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), Sheldon MacDonald, Vice President - Network Strategy and Engineering for Bell Aliant, John Gerretsen, Ontario Attorney General, Erika Demchuk, Mayor of Gananoque, Mel Campbell, Chair of EOWC and Dave Burton, Chair of EORN.

"In today's modern age, high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury. Canadians across the country rely on internet access every day to support their families and their businesses," said Minister Fletcher. "Our government is proud to support the completion of this fibre optic cable network which will bring high-speed Internet to thousands of families and businesses across Eastern Ontario. We will continue to invest in projects like this one that create good jobs, encourage business development, and support economic growth in Eastern Ontario."

"This project turns miles into milliseconds for everyone who relies on the information highway," said the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "I'm eager for everyone to have access to it."

The network, built by Bell Aliant and Bell, involved laying 520 kilometres of new fibre optic cable to connect 5,000 kilometres of existing lines, as well as building 160 new points of access for high-speed Internet services across the region. Local Internet service providers can purchase bandwidth from these access hubs in order to deliver improved high-speed access.

To build this project, the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) created the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), Ontario's largest rural broadband project. The $170-million initiative is supported through substantial investment from federal, provincial and local governments, along with private sector contributions.

"Providing broadband access to residents, businesses and First Nations communities is one of the keys to unlocking the enormous economic potential of our region," said EOWC Chair, Mel Campbell. "This network is essential to our prosperity."

"We are very proud that this major milestone was completed ahead of schedule and on budget," said EORN Chair David Burton. "It is a critical piece of the infrastructure needed to expand broadband access across the region."

"Bell Aliant and Bell are extremely proud of the partnerships that were formed to deliver high-speed Internet access to close to a million residents, businesses and First Nations in Eastern Ontario ahead of schedule and on budget," said Chuck Hartlen, Senior Vice-President Customer Experience, Bell Aliant. "As Canada's leaders in network investments, we're pleased to be playing a key role in bringing Canada's best broadband networks to rural areas."

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.

The Government of Canada has engaged provinces, territories, municipalities and key stakeholders in a series of roundtables to guide the development of a new long-term infrastructure plan that will support job creation, economic growth and prosperity. We understand that we are on the right track: there is a need for strong, sustained investment and we must continue to work together moving forward. To improve infrastructure across Canada and ensure affordability and sustainability over the long term, our new plan will encourage greater use of public-private partnerships. This will help leverage new investments in infrastructure, while respecting the Canadian taxpayers' ability to pay.

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

For more information on how Ontario is revitalizing its infrastructure, visit the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.


Brayden Akers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Transport)

Amber Anderson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Lisa Severson
Eastern Ontario Regional Network

Norma Hughes
Bell Aliant

Infrastructure Canada
Or toll-free 1-877-250-7154

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