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Friday, July 6, 2018

Huron County Awaiting Broadband Funding Announcement

Huron County | by Peter Jackson  

Elected officials awaiting word on $16M contribution for $32M project to expand high-speed internet.

Huron County is still waiting on word whether the federal government will help fund a $32 million project, to connect 98 per-cent of rural customers to broadband Internet service.

More than a year ago, Council voted to back the project with involvement by Hurontel, Hay Communications and the Tuckersmith Communications Cooperative.

Warden Jim Ginn says Ottawa so far has not said anything about a County application for $16 million.

The County has already committed $7 million to the project, and the three local telecom providers have pledged a total of $9 million.

The funding is being made through the federal Connect to Innovate program, but Ginn says Ottawa's deadline for notifying Huron was last January 1st.

He tells us most of the money is being disbursed in small amounts among northern and remote communities.

Ginn is concerned that no word has been received, because much of the 2018 construction season is already gone.

Broadband Internet service is seen by economic development officials as essential in keeping Huron County competitive in business and industry, while improving the quality of life for locals.

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