The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure, Infrastructure Canada, and Rogers Communications has announced that Rogers 5G mobile services are now available in nine eastern Ontario communities, including four counties and one single-tier municipality.
Through nine new wireless sites and upgrades to 37 existing sites, Rogers 5G service is now available for the first time in the following underserved areas: Ontario County Highway 2 from Belleville to Shannonville; Southern areas of Sandbanks Provincial Park; Healey Falls to Campbellford South in Northumberland County; Archer’s Road to County Road 2 in Northumberland County; Bridgenorth in Peterborough County; Camp Kawartha in Peterborough County; Glasgow Station to ON-17 in Renfrew County; Demorestville in Prince Edward County; and Highway 7 in Maberly in Lanark County.
Today’s announcement is part of the EORN Cell Gap Project, a $300 million public-private partnership to improve and expand cellular services across rural eastern Ontario. About half the project funding comes from the federal and provincial governments, as well as municipal members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) and most of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus (EOMC). The balance of the investment comes from Rogers Communications, which was selected through a competitive bidding process.
Through this partnership, Rogers is building more than 330 new wireless sites and upgrading over 300 existing sites with 5G by 2025, bringing vital infrastructure to more municipalities and Indigenous communities in eastern Ontario. To date, 13 new wireless sites are in-service with upgrades completed on 297 existing sites.
“With the support of federal, provincial and municipal funding and partnership with Rogers, we are closing the gap in mobile services,” says EORN Chair Pierre Leroux. “These network expansions will give local residents access to better cell services, improving quality of live and creating new economic opportunities.”
“Rogers is proud to work in partnership with our government partners and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network to bring residents and businesses in these nine communities access to the best 5G technology and to connect even more Canadians across the region,” adds Phil Hartling, President, Wireless, Rogers Communications. “We are committed to providing a seamless wireless experience across Eastern Ontario and making long-term investments to ensure all Canadians can access Canada’s largest 5G wireless network.”
“It is great to see Eastern Ontario Regional Network and Rogers Communications, in partnership with Minister LeBlanc, work on the Cell Gap Project,” continues Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “This project, valued at more than $300 million dollars, will help create and upgrade hundreds of telecommunication sites. This initiative will continue to support the families in our communities when it comes to work, study, and accessing essential services.”
“Our government is continuing to build stronger communities by ensuring that families, businesses and residents, across eastern Ontario, have access to reliable cellular services,” concludes the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure. “By investing in this project and working closely with our partners, we are getting shovels in the ground to improve connectivity for the people of this province now and into the future.”
Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) strives to fuel economic development and growth by working regionally to improve and leverage broadband access and cell connectivity. EORN is a non-profit organization created by the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC). Since 2010, it has helped bring hundreds of millions of dollars in federal, provincial, and private sector investment to improve connectivity across the rural region.
As part of its Cell Gap Project, EORN is working with Indigenous communities to ensure that new cell infrastructure is built with respect for Indigenous treaty rights and heritage. Based on input from several First Nations, EORN has committed to exceeding industry practice, and is conducting archaeological assessments on most new tower sites.
From 2010 to 2014, EORN helped to enhance broadband access for nearly 90% of eastern Ontario through a $175 million public-private partnership. The network was funded by federal, provincial, and municipal governments and private sector service providers. By the end of the project, 423,000 homes and businesses were able to access services of up to 10 Mbps download. It also spurred an additional $100 million of private sector investment in the region beyond initial commitments.