Cash to combat mobile dead zones

WINCHESTER – Dead zones in the region are the target of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, and the goal may be that much closer thanks to a coming cash injection from the federal government.

Liberal members, in separate announcements throughout the network’s planned coverage area, unveiled the government’s intended $71-million investment in the project.

With a total value estimated at $213-million, it’s another feather in the cap for EORN, which also got a boost from the provincial Progressive Conservatives’ in May, with $71-million earmarked by Ontario’s government as well.

The remaining funds are expected to be covered by private sector firms and municipal partners.

With about 10 per cent of the area lacking mobile broadband connection, there’s concern with the number of dropped calls, missed emergency services, and a lack of opportunity for business.

Phase one of the project involves building 317 new telecommunication towers and an additional 32 local Internet access points, while phase two will serve to identify capacity gaps that result from heavy user traffic.

In all, the project is expected to improve mobile coverage for more 1.1 million residents in 102 communities, including both North and South Dundas.