Clock counting down on cellphone service project

Clock counting down on cellphone service project

“Time is of the essence,” said Stéphane Parisien, chief administrator for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR).

UCPR council gave unanimous approval during a special session June 12 to a resolution calling on the federal government to confirm its $71 million share of funding support for the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s Mobile Broadband Project (EORN).

The project is a follow-up to EORN’s regional broadband project for improvement of Internet service for all of Eastern Ontario. The mobile broadband project focus is better cellular phone service to benefit economic development and public safety in the region.

The Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC), which represents 103 municipalities in Eastern Ontario, has committed $10 million to the project. The UCPR is part of the EOWC.

Another combined $10 million commitment has come from nine of the largest towns and cities in Eastern Ontario. The Ontario Progressive Conservative government has also confirmed a $71 million commitment to the project.

“All that we’re missing is the federal government coming to the table,” Parisien told UCPR council. “Time is running out. It’s five minutes to midnight.”

The Trudeau Liberal government promised funding in the federal budget for projects to improve broadband service for Canada’s rural areas. The UCPR demands that federal government make a public financial commitment to the EORN mobile broadband project before Parliament recesses for the summer.

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