Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Calls On The Provincial Government To Push Broadband Strategy Into High Speed
PETERBOROUGH, ON, JULY 21st, 2016: Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has called on Premier Kathleen Wynne to commit dedicated provincial infrastructure funds to developing and expanding broadband internet access in remote and rural areas of the province. With record investments being made by government in transit and transportation infrastructure, the business advocacy organization is calling upon the provincial government to recognize, through infrastructure dollars, that access to high speed internet is also essential for Ontario businesses to compete in the 21st century global economy.
“Local businesses in Peterborough and area are becoming increasingly dependent on internet access for their everyday business practices,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “High-speed internet access has become a necessity for doing business in today’s economy and it is critical that all regions across Ontario have access to this essential infrastructure.”
“EORN [Eastern Ontario Regional Network] fully supports the Chamber’s call for more provincial investment in high speed internet and mobile broadband services,” said Dave Burton, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “While we have made significant progress in expanding access to high speed services across Eastern Ontario over the past few years we know there are still gaps and capacity issues to be resolved. We also know that our economic future is tied to the ability of our local businesses to grow their markets and customer base through the Internet. Helping local small businesses prosper will strengthen not only our communities but help the Province as a whole prosper,” added Burton.
While the Peterborough Chamber and the OCC acknowledge broadband investments made by the Government of Canada in the recent federal budget, internet access continues to be an issue in parts of Ontario. The letter to the Premier identifies three key recommendations that the Ontario government should address in the coming term to ensure all communities in the province are able to compete in the global economy:
“Just as businesses depend on roads and electricity, high-speed Internet is fundamental to advancing the province’s economic interests,” said Allan O’Dette, CEO & President of the OCC. “Committing funds to broadband infrastructure in rural and remote regions of the province will ensure that economic fragmentation is reduced in Ontario.”
With government services increasingly shifting to online platforms, universal access to high speed internet is becoming more important than ever. By working with the Peterborough and the Ontario business community, government can develop broadband policy that is responsive to existing needs while not dissuading private sector investment.
Sandra Dueck, Policy Analyst/Communications Specialist
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