Rural Internet

Waterfront property owners represent a major customer group for rural cell, Internet and broadband services.

Cottage country areas tend to be remote, rocky, and difficult to service. Uneven coverage affects many FOCA members.

FOCA advocates on priority rural issues including expanded rural and northern broadband and cell service. FOCA recognizes the limitations currently experienced by rural Ontarians, and is supportive of the expansion of high speed Internet and cellular coverage throughout rural and northern Ontario.

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Broadband internet service is a critical part of rural infrastructure and essential to support residents, local businesses and our communities.

December 6, 2023 – Rogers expands 5G to 15 regions in eastern Ontario as part of Cell Gap Project ( – areas getting Rogers 5G include the counties of Renfrew, Northumberland, Haliburton, Lennox & Addington, Peterborough, Frontenac, Hastings, Leeds & Grenville and more

Siting Cell Towers in Cottage Country:

Wondering how cell tower siting decisions are made in your community? Consult EORN’s Tower Siting Resource Guide (download the PDF, 20 pages)

For more, visit FOCA’s related webpage about Energy & Cell Project Siting.

Check your Internet speed with the CIRA online test

Visit Ontario’s webpage for updates about projects in various parts of the province: Zoom in and click your local area to see projected completion dates for the various projects being undertaken by service providers.

As FOCA members heard in a presentation at the 2020 Fall Seminar, the federal government’s goal is for all Canadians to have access to high-speed Internet of at least 50 Megabits per second download and 10 megabits per second upload speeds (50/10). Information on the Universal Broadband Fund is online here.

and earlier regional developments:

The R2B2 research initiative offers complete solutions for Regional & Rural broadband action. Their research encompasses regional economic and geospatial analysis around broadband services and digital infrastructure to identify current and future needs. R2B2 also provides support to municipalities on broadband data analytics. These collaborative projects include residential and business Internet user surveys; this data can inform public sector business plans for broadband deployment, and consumer education around Internet performance in rural areas. 

FOCA encourages you to visit the following sites to have your say:

In eastern OntarioEORN (the Eastern Ontario Rural Network) has been working to improve broadband and cell coverage. This ongoing project covers 50,000 square kilometres, and now serves over 90% of this region of more than one million people with high-speed Internet service. 

“The sparse population, lakes and rugged terrain of our region make it a beautiful destination. But these features also mean that we need to use different internet technologies to overcome the challenges,” Jim Pine, Chief Administrative Officer of Hastings County and co-lead of the project, said in 2013. The EORN project has involved construction of a 5,500-km fibre optic backbone, which was completed in late 2012. This included laying 520 kilometres of new cable to connect existing fibre, and building or upgrading 160 access points, where internet service providers can tap into the backbone and deliver high-speed internet to homes and businesses.

Each technology is capable of reaching different communities efficiently:

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service, for example, requires being located close enough to the fibre optic backbone
  • Wireless service can reach more remote regions, as long as trees or terrain don’t interfere with the radio signal
  • Satellite is the best fit for the most remote regions.


Please note: the following is archival material, and some links to third-party resources may no longer be active.

The following information is available to FOCA Members and Annual Supporters. Need help with your login? Contact us! Not yet a Member or Annual Supporter? Find out why you should be!

November 14, 2014 – Ontario’s largest rural broadband network is now complete, thanks to funding from the governments of Canada and Ontario, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Inc., and private sector partners.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) project covers 50,000 square kilometres, and serves over 90% of this region of more than one million people with high-speed Internet service.

EORN covers the counties of Hastings, Peterborough, Renfrew, Northumberland, Haliburton, Frontenac, Lanark, Prince Edward, Lennox and Addington, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, as well as the City of Kawartha Lakes. (check out this video of Eastern Ontario)

Learn more at the EORN website.