(March 19, 2021 – EASTERN ON) – Strong and reliable cellular services are critical to help rural communities take part in the economy, create jobs and improve public safety. Together, Canada, Ontario and municipal governments across Eastern Ontario are supporting the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s Cell Gap Project that will improve both the reach and quality of cellular services throughout the region.
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure, joined Warden J. Murray Jones, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, Warden Debbie Robinson, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Mayor Diane Therrien, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus to announce that Rogers Communications has been awarded the contract to improve the coverage and capacity of cell networks in the region.
Rogers Communications’ investment brings the total value of the public-private partnership to more than $300 million. This includes investments from the federal and provincial governments who each contributed $71 million and an additional $10 million from the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and most municipalities within the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus.
Rogers Communications was selected through a competitive bidding process to identify a telecommunication partner who offered both the expertise and best value for expanded cell coverage.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has designated both mobile and fixed broadband as basic services for all Canadians. The project is designed to improve cell coverage across the area where people live, work and travel. It aims to provide:
- 99 per cent of the area with voice calling services.
- At least 95 per cent of the area with standard-definition (SD) level services, such as video-app calls, basic app usage and streaming of SD video.
- At least 85 per cent of the area with service levels that can support streaming high-definition video and more data-intensive apps.
Additional investments will increase capacity of networks in high density, high usage areas.
To better serve rural Eastern Ontario, an area of some 50,000 square kilometres, the project will involve construction of more than 300 new telecommunication sites and will upgrade more than 300 existing sites over the next four to five years. Upgrades and construction will begin as early as this spring. Powered by Ericsson, Rogers brings the latest generation in 5G wireless network technology, which over time will deliver unprecedented speed, instant response times, and fast, reliable connections that transform how people live and work. New services will be activated as groups of towers are built or upgraded. The project is to be completed in 2025.
“I am excited by today’s announcement. It shows why EORN’s approach is so successful. We are getting substantially more in private sector investment that anticipated. Our residents and businesses across Lennox and Addington County will soon be able to connect wherever they live, work or travel. This is a key building block for our future and is a major step forward for us all.”
- Lennox and Addington County Warden, Ric Bresee
For more information about EORN, EOWC (Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus), EOMC (Eastern Ontario Mayors' Caucus), Rogers Communications, and for further quotes regarding this press release click here.
For more information, view this background document or contact:
Eastern Ontario Regional Network
Director of Communications