FedNor funds available to help boost internet speeds, MP says
Feds have put aside money to increase capacity for broadband, cell users
The Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt is urging small business in particular to apply for broadband funding.
Marc Serré said the government put a lot of money aside for Fednor– $68 million– in the last budget for connectivity. That means areas that are under-serviced or are bogged down by slower speeds, may be getting a hand.
But first, businesses are going to have to apply for available funding.
"In the past our government programs have been very time sensitive, like you had like six weeks to eight weeks to apply," he said. "There are very complicated forms, and unfortunately ...smaller companies do not have a chance to apply so the larger companies would apply."
Those large players, like Bell, have not been "too favourable" to rural and northern Ontario areas, Serré said.
"In my opinion we really have to focus a lot more on smaller Internet ISP Internet to get that coverage in."
Serré is also urging his constituents to get an internet "speed test" at www.connectednorth.ca. This will enable the government to make a case that northern Ontario residents have slower connection speeds than southern neighbours.
"My concern is I want to make sure that northern Ontario, northeastern Ontario, Northwestern Ontario, Nickel Belt gets their fair share of this national fund."
"We want to make sure that we're prepared," he said. "We're working on the criteria for application. The CRTC also has a fund of 750 million. The province has a fund. So we want to make sure that the kind of processes are open."
The federal government has committed to providing hi-speed internet to most Canadians by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030.