PORT PERRY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 25, 2015) - Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadians have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Durham, today announced that the Harper Government will provide $1,879,805 to Eccentric Artists Technical Services Ltd., a local Internet service provider, to connect approximately 820 homes in Scugog to fibre Internet services.

The fibre infrastructure project is expected to be completed by November 2016, delivering average Internet speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps), twice as fast as the national target speed of 5 Mbps.

For Canadians who live in communities with slow or no Internet, access to high-speed services will lead to new economic opportunities and the creation of new jobs, products and services.

By Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, over 98 percent of Canadian households will be able to subscribe to new or improved high-speed Internet services, delivering on the Harper Government's commitment to rural Canadians.

Quick facts

  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada created the Connecting Canadians program, backed by a $305-million commitment to connect an additional 280,000 households in rural and remote regions of the country to high-speed Internet services at minimum speeds of 5 Mbps.

  • The Government has exceeded its Economic Action Plan 2014 target by over 75,000 households in the first round of project approvals, bringing high-speed Internet access to more than 356,000 homes across Canada, and nearly 40 percent under budget.

  • Last summer, the Government invited Canadians to provide feedback online to help better determine areas in need of high-speed Internet access. Once information was received, Industry Canada invited Internet service providers to submit proposals for funding under Connecting Canadians to build the wireless or wired infrastructure that will provide services to rural and remote communities in need.

  • The first projects are expected to be completed by the time Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

  • Industry Canada received over 300 applications to the Connecting Canadians program from Internet service providers across Canada.

  • Every province and territory across the country will benefit from the Connecting Canadians program. Announcements of individual projects will be made throughout the summer.


"The Connecting Canadians program helps rural communities expand high-speed Internet access and leverage the economic development that can come with it. I am very proud to announce a $1,879,805 investment by the federal government to help Scugog increase access and opportunity."

- Erin O'Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham

"Today's announcement marks the next important phase in our government's plan to bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to communities in rural and remote regions across the country. Providing Canadians with access to high-speed Internet for learning, business opportunities and so much more is key to creating a more connected, digital Canada."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry

"Minister Erin O'Toole, Minister James Moore and the federal government have truly come through for the residents of Scugog with the approval of this broadband grant. They have recognized that this staple utility, the Internet, is underserviced for the residents and businesses in our area. This grant provides the necessary seeds to grow an innovative, ultra-high-speed Internet infrastructure that will catapult Scugog Township into a Gigabit Smart community. This federal investment will be a major economic stimulant to our municipality, with a tremendous potential for job creation, as we poise ourselves to embrace a knowledge-based economy. On behalf of Scugog, thank you for investing in our future!"

- Tom Rowett, Mayor of Scugog

"I am very excited that we will now be able to connect the rural areas of our community to our fibre optic network. The funding from the Connecting Canadians program makes it possible for this dream to become a reality, and it gives us the extra push we need to build out a network that can close the digital divide. By supporting our proposal to use fibre optic technology, the federal government has allowed us to take a long-term approach to network design, which will meet the needs of our community for decades into the future, rather than a quick fix. We will be able to provide the same level of service in remote areas as we can in town. Living out in the country will no longer mean having to live without access to reliable Internet service. The connectivity this new network provides will enable our local economy to support knowledge-based industries, as well as provide opportunities for the next generation of skilled workers and entrepreneurs to stay local. I'm very proud that this is a homegrown solution with a great deal of support from Erin O'Toole, our local MP, as well as our new mayor and council, and we could not have made this happen without them."

- Tim St. Pierre, President / System Operator, Communicate Freely

Associated link

- Connecting Canadians website

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Contact Information:

Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry

Media Relations
Industry Canada