Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation

Eves government to provide affordable high-speed Internet to Elgin County

    ST. THOMAS, ON, May 22 /CNW/ - The Ernie Eves government invested
$900,000 to develop a comprehensive telecommunication infrastructure to
support Elgin County's web portal and provide broadband access for the
townships, libraries, school and colleges, business and economic groups, with
St.Thomas-based, Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation
Minister Jim Flaherty announced today.
    The funding is part of Connect Ontario: Broadband Regional Access
(COBRA), a $55 million program that brings affordable, high-speed
telecommunications to northern and rural communities by providing the
necessary broadband infrastructure.
    "Our goal is to ensure that all communities across Ontario can easily
access affordable high-speed Internet services," said Flaherty. "This
investment in St. Thomas' is an important step in
accomplishing that vision. COBRA will help foster innovation through public-
private partnerships, which will result in new local economic opportunities
for Elgin County and the surrounding region."
    Led by the Elgin Community Future Development Corporation,'s partners include the City of St. Thomas, County of Elgin,
Industry Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, Kettle Creek Conservation
Authority, Economic Development Corporation, Fanshawe College, Employment
Service Elgin and Catfish Creek Conservation Authority. The total investment
with partner funding is expected to reach $1.8 million.
    "The Province of Ontario's COBRA program will allow Elgin County to
provide uniform and ubiquitous access to broadband service in Elgin," said
Donna Lunn, Community Development Officer of Elgin Community Futures
Development Corporation. "The provision of high speed service to public and
private businesses, municipal governments and residents will allow Elgin to
participate in the knowledge-based economy. Through the coordination and
partnerships fostered by this initiative, Elgin will be enabled to create the
opportunity for tremendous economic development in both the local and global
    COBRA supports the Ontario Government's Smart Growth agenda by promoting
vibrant communities and stimulating local economies.

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