$2.9M announced to support connectivity in Rural Thunder Bay

Monday, January 25 – Last week the Ontario Government announced $2.9 million in funding to support the Rural Thunder Bay Fibre To The Home (FTTH) project. The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) applied for the funding last year in partnership with Tbaytel.

The Rural Thunder Bay FTTH project aims to build crucial infrastructure for homes and businesses in rural Thunder Bay. The Province’s funding will help accelerate deployment and reduce the gap between urban and rural service availability.

“The requirement and demand for bandwidth are immediate and are quickly becoming the highest priority issue for Municipal leaders, residents, and businesses,” states, Eric Zakrewski, CEO, Thunder bay CEDC. “As many may know, due to COVID 19 businesses have turned to e-commerce as their main form of doing business and more and more people are working remotely. The availability of high-speed internet service will no longer be a barrier to success for businesses and remote workers in rural Thunder Bay.”

The Rural Thunder Bay Fibre To The Home project will construct fibre optic access facilities to provide residents and businesses in rural Thunder Bay with access to higher-speed internet and new/additional telecommunications services. It is also the cornerstone of an economic development plan and a requirement for global business competitiveness. The project will impact homes and businesses in the areas of Alice Avenue, Belrose Road, Broad Oaks Drive, Mount Forest Boulevard, Highway 61, Loch Lomond Road and Government Road.

“We know that now more than ever, reliable internet is essential in our daily lives. With more of our rural areas connected, it means more businesses can participate in the global digital economy, more students can learn and, especially at this time, more families can keep in touch with loved ones,” states Dan Topatigh, President and CEO of Tbaytel.  “Vast terrain and low population density make it a challenge for Tbaytel alone to deliver this vital infrastructure across rural northern Ontario. Bringing true fibre right to the door of more than 2,300 new customers throughout rural Thunder Bay is only possible when strong leadership makes funding a priority and great partnerships, like the one Tbaytel has with the CEDC, are formed. Tbaytel would like to thank the Government of Ontario for investing in this vital infrastructure and the people of Northern Ontario for their continued support of Tbaytel.”    

This project greatly enhances Thunder Bay’s economic development opportunities due to rural Thunder Bay becoming more attractive for residential and business relocation. Thunder Bay CEDC looks forward to working with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Tbaytel to successfully implement the Rural Thunder Bay Fibre To The Home project and bring improved Internet and communications services to rural Thunder Bay.

To learn more about the project or to see if your business or home is included in the project area visit: tbaytel.net/fibreexpansion 

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