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Ont. pledges $8.8M for rural broadband

The Ontario government will spend $8.8 million this year to help install broadband Internet infrastructure in 15 rural communities.

The communities’ applications were accepted this year under the provincial Rural Connections Broadband Program, which backs broadband access for rural and remote areas of southern Ontario now considered “under-serviced.”

Broadband, defined for the purposes of this project as a minimum download speed of 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps), “is an information highway that we’re building from the front door and the loading dock of every business in rural Ontario,” Government Services Minister Ted McMeekin said in a release Friday.

Friday’s announcement is part of a larger investment of up to $30 million for such projects in the next four years. Another 18 were announced in 2007, bringing the total so far to 33.

The province issued separate announcements for the communities receiving this year’s funding, including South Glengarry, South Stormont, and South Dundas, the Townships of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield, Ramara and Greater Madawaska, the Counties of Simcoe, Northumberland, Middlesex, Haliburton, Grey and Frontenac, the communities of Laurentian Hills and Halton Hills, the City of Kawartha Lakes and the Bancroft and L’Amable area.

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