Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Region to Receive Joint Funding from the Provincial Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) and Federal Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) Programs for High-Speed Internet

IRON BRIDGE, Ontario, Aug. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Community Owned Fibre Infrastructure Corporation (H&M COFI) has been awarded funding through two government programs: Ontario’s Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program as well as the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund (UBF). The funding for this program is part of a larger commitment announced today by both levels of government, totalling $170 million.

With this funding, H&M COFI will partner with ROCK Networks to build a broadband network that will bring reliable and affordable high-speed internet to all underserved residents and businesses in the region.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded funding that will bring vital high-speed internet to rural communities that are unserved or underserved. Residents, businesses, and institutions will have access to speeds greater than 1 Gbps which is currently available in urban centres,” said Georges Bilodeau, Mayor of Huron Shores and Chairperson of H&M COFI. “The intent of a community-owned network is that profits generated in the operation of H&M COFI will be returned to investing communities.”

“We are excited to join with H&M COFI to bring their vision to reality by constructing a future-proof open access network infrastructure,” said Joe Hickey, President and CEO of ROCK Networks.

Once the network is constructed, consumers can buy internet services from internet service providers (ISPs) using the H&M COFI network. ISPs will pay a wholesale or floor rate to H&M COFI for the internet access they sell, allowing for many ISPs to offer assorted competitive services to consumers.


The Regional Broadband Network, Huron Shore and Manitoulin Island Community Owned Fibre Infrastructure (H&M COFI) is focused on building a broadband network that eliminates the digital divide, connecting the communities from Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, City of Elliot Lake and including St. Joseph Island and Manitoulin Island. H&M COFI will bring the region into the 21st Century by improving economic growth and access to health and educational services.

For further inquiries:

Georges Bilodeau

H&M COFI Corporation