Ontario announces funding for broadband for public libraries in unserved and underserved communities

Some wonderful news was announced at the OLA Super Conference 2021: the Ontario government is investing over $4.8 million to upgrade broadband at public libraries in rural and remote communities. Laurie Scott, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure and Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries co-delivered the funding announcement, which is part of the Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan announced on November 4, 2020. This action plan promises an investment of $680 million in addition to its existing commitment to improve connectivity across the province, leading to a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years.

During the Q&A following the announcement, the Ministers were asked how the funding will be distributed; Minister Scott indicated that a needs assessment is planned to determine which Ontario library systems receive broadband upgrades.

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