Rogers pledges rural 5G expansion in Canada

Rogers said it reached agreements to expand its 5G services into additional rural areas of Eastern Ontario.

March 19, 2021

4 Min Read

TORONTO – Rogers Communications Inc. announced today, alongside the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, a partnership which is expected to bring reliable wireless connectivity to 99% of Eastern Ontario's residents and businesses, bridging the cellular gap to enhance work, safety, and quality of life in the region. The initiative is part of Rogers' ongoing commitment to expand service and improve connectivity for underserved communities, including rural and remote regions.

Rogers will invest over $150 million in this project, the largest wireless private-public partnership in Canadian history, to upgrade and expand the region's wireless telecommunications infrastructure over five years. The federal and provincial governments are each investing $71 million to the project, with a $10 million contribution from the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus and Eastern Ontario Mayors' Caucus. The total investment in this project injects more than $300 million into local infrastructure.

"We are thrilled Rogers has been chosen to provide indispensable mobile connectivity to the 113 municipalities and Indigenous communities of Eastern Ontario and look forward to the deep and lasting local relationships that will be forged as we serve the region," says Joe Natale, President and CEO of Rogers Communications. "It is exciting to be part of this partnership with government that has the potential to create more than 3,000 new jobs, as much as $420 million in local economic growth, and vital 5G infrastructure for a safer, more prosperous, and connected future."

The communities of Eastern Ontario are eager for more dependable cellular coverage, as they currently experience connectivity gaps across the region. Today's announcement with Rogers, operators of Canada's largest and most reliable 5G network1, is expected to bring mobile connectivity to virtually everyone in Eastern Ontario by 2025, eliminating "dead zones" on rural highways and improving accessibility to public and emergency services.

"We are delighted to name Rogers as our telecommunications partner on this vital infrastructure project," says J. Murray Jones, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network. "Rogers has exceeded our expectations in terms of their investment to improve the region's cellular infrastructure, demonstrating their commitment and passion for a stronger eastern Ontario."

"Reliable cell service in our region will improve our health and safety, and lead to economic growth. Our community has been firmly behind the EORN cell gap project, and I am thankful to my colleagues in neighbouring ridings for championing it," says The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. "This project will connect the residents of Eastern Ontario to fast, reliable cellular service. In addition to this, the Government of Canada is connecting Ontarians to high-speed internet by committing over $233 million into 23 projects that will connect 33,649 households across the province. Congratulations to all involved in today's important announcement."

"Eastern Ontario has waited long enough for reliable connectivity. That's why today's announcement of the partnership between the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) and Rogers Communications brings hope and optimism for residents," says The Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure. "This partnership is one more step towards delivering better connectivity for families and individuals and is an example of the decisive action we're taking to connect more people."

Work on the infrastructure expansion begins in spring 2021 and is expected to continue through 2025.

Quick Facts:

  • Rogers will build more than 300 new cellular towers and upgrade another 300-plus existing towers over five years

  • 99% of the region's demand area will have access to mobile voice calling service

  • 95% of the region's demand area will have access to service that enables standard definition video, typical mobile app use, and video app calling

  • 85% of the region's demand area will have access to high-definition services that allow HD video streaming

  • Expected to deliver consistent and reliable voice call coverage on 11,000 kilometres of major roadways, including Highway 401

  • Rogers operates Canada's largest and most reliable 5G network1, powered exclusively by Ericsson, which today reaches more than 170 communities nationwide

  • The Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus includes:

    • County of Frontenac

    • County of Haliburton

    • County of Hastings

    • City of Kawartha Lakes (single tier)

    • County of Lanark

    • United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

    • County of Lennox and Addington

    • County of Northumberland

    • County of Peterborough

    • United Counties of Prescott and Russell

    • Prince Edward County (single tier)

    • County of Renfrew

    • United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

  • The nine separated cities participating in the project include:

    • Kingston

    • Belleville

    • Quinte West

    • Smiths Falls

    • Gananoque

    • Prescott

    • City of Peterborough

    • Pembroke

    • Cornwall

Rogers Communications

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