By James Matthews
Haliburton County residents are one step closer to reliable high-speed internet.
The provincial government announced on Oct. 28 an infusion of more than $30-million. It’s one piece of a $56.4-million funding package that will open high-speed internet for 11,000 households across Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
Of that purse, Haliburton County will get more than $20-million to connect homes across 16 communities. The funding will enable service providers Bell and Cogeco to expand reliable internet access.
Liz Danielsen, the county warden and mayor-elect of Algonquin Highlands, said the partnership with Bell and and the federal and provincial governments will bring Ontarians into the 21st Century.
“We are pleased to see the hard work of so many result in reliable broadband infrastructure coming to Haliburton County,” said Danielson. “Access to high-speed internet is essential to allow rural residents, businesses, and communities grow and prosper in an increasingly connected world.
“Businesses need to remain competitive, and the lack of reliable internet should not be a barrier to their success and prosperity.”
She said it’s never been more important for people to feel digitally connected with family and friends. Rural students rely on the internet to study.
“Building stronger rural communities and laying the foundation for long-term economic growth is what this announcement means to our businesses and residents,” Danielsen said.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott said the announcement is welcome news for people who have been waiting several years for high-speed internet access.
“For years I have been working hard to connect the residents of Haliburton County and can’t wait to finally have the residents of our municipalities connected,” Scott said.
The funding build’s on the province’s $4 billion investment announced in 2021. It brings the government of Ontario one step closer to connecting every community in to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.
Scott said the province will continue to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, can take part and thrive in a digital world.
“Not only will expanding high-speed internet access bring people out of the dark, but it will also aid in Ontario’s economic recovery and future growth by creating jobs in local communities,” she said.