Nearly $20M committed to Perth-Wellington, surrounding areas for rural high-speed internet

Newton, Millbank, Milverton among towns included for upgrades

PERTH-WELLINGTON – The Government of Ontario, partnering with the federal government, has announced up to $19,668,735 to bring high-speed internet to up to 2,700 households and businesses in underserved areas throughout Perth-Wellington and surrounding areas.

Funding will come from the province’s Improving Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program and the federal Universal Broadband Fund. It is part of a $1.2 billion investment in 58 new projects across Ontario. This will bring high-speed internet to over 280,000 homes and businesses in Ontario.

“Many people I represent still lack affordable and reliable high-speed internet,” Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece stated. “The pandemic has certainly highlighted the need to fix this, but as we know, it has been a problem for many years.

“This has long been a major priority for me. Our local municipalities have also been pressing the provincial and federal governments to do more. I congratulate them on their hard-work, which is paying off.”

Communities that will receive funding include: Shakespeare, Newton, Gads Hill, Hesson, Millbank, Poole, Amulree, Rostock, Milverton, Dorking, St. Pauls Station, Rannoch, Wellburn, Mitchell, Brodhagen, Fullarton, Staffa, Dublin, among others.

This funding builds on additional investments from the province, including $14.7 million for 13 projects through the ICON program.

In its 2021 budget, the province committed to invest nearly $4 billion to connect every region in Ontario to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.

“I am extremely pleased by this announcement,” Pettapiece added. “Parents, students, businesses and community organizations will all benefit. All of us in rural Ontario will benefit.”

The funding comes on the heels of previous broadband investments of $2 million and $5.5 million throughout Wellington and Perth counties in recent months. These investments aim to bring high-speed, reliable internet to underserved areas across Perth-Wellington.