Improved cell service for 10 rural communities including Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Hastings and Quinte

Photo via EORN

Residents across ten communities in eastern Ontario, including Hastings, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, and Quinte West, now have access to Rogers’ 5G services. This announcement was made jointly by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN), the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and Rogers Communications. The expansion includes the establishment of 18 new sites and upgrades to seven existing ones.

“This expansion is a significant step towards our goal of building stronger, more connected communities across the province,” emphasized Kinga Surma, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure. “With these new cellular towers, we are helping to ensure seamless connectivity for rural Eastern Ontario, enabling access to critical services, supporting business growth and allowing people to stay connected.”

Pierre Leroux, Chair of EORN, expressed gratitude for the collaborative effort in closing the mobile service gap. “Rogers’ network expansion will give local residents access to better cell services essential for economic growth and an improved quality of life,” he said.

Phil Hartling, President of Wireless at Rogers, highlighted the company’s commitment to establishing Canada’s most reliable 5G wireless network. “Together with our government partners and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, we are proud to bring residents and businesses in these ten communities access to the best 5G technology, closing gaps in wireless coverage and increasing safety along highways.”

This expansion is part of the EORN Cell Gap Project, a $300 million public-private initiative aimed at improving cellular services across rural eastern Ontario. The funding, with contributions from federal and provincial governments, as well as support from municipal members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) and most of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus (EOMC), has facilitated the project. Rogers, selected through a competitive bidding process, is contributing the remaining investment.

Under this partnership, Rogers is establishing approximately 330 new telecommunications sites, including both new sites and colocations, while upgrading 312 existing sites. Upgrades have already covered 305 existing sites and introduced 58 new cell sites. Plans are underway, in collaboration with community partners, to accelerate tower construction for 2024, aiming to bring numerous new towers online throughout the year.

“This project is instrumental in bridging connectivity gaps and providing opportunities associated with 5G services,” noted the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “It helps rural communities prosper in our increasingly digital world by connecting residents to essential services online.”

This wireless expansion project aims to bolster public safety and ensure connectivity for residents navigating rural and remote roadways in eastern Ontario. Its goal is to strengthen connectivity, enhance economic opportunities, and elevate the overall quality of life for residents and businesses in the region.

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