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Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade Applauds Federal Budget’s Inclusion of Broadband

Posted 3 years ago on · Permalink

AJAX-PICKERING, March 27, 2019 – The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is encouraged by the inclusion of broadband expansion in the 2019 federal budget. The financial blueprint sets a national target for broadband expansion to 95 percent of Canadian homes and business by 2026, and to 100 percent by 2030. The Budget commits to $5-6 million in funding for rural broadband over the next 10 years, including incentives for private sector investment through the accelerated capital cost allowance, continuation of the Connect to Innovate program, the launch of the Universal Broadband Fund, and partnerships with the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

For more than a decade, the APBOT has advocated for government to ensure all Canadians have affordable access to high speed internet. Despite it being declared an essential service by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), many homes and businesses here in Durham and across Canada continue to lack access.

“In the past five or more years we have contacted providers with fiber or faster speed broadband, unfortunately, there was nothing available in our area or location,” shared Emilio Trotta, the General Manager of Ajax Downs Racetrack, an APBOT member. “Approximately two years ago we spoke with a company about how we can get the Fiber to our location and have it run to the closest telecommunications box. The cost to have that done was $30,000 to $40,000 and then approximately another $10,000 to get it in the building.  The company was willing to share some of that cost, but we thought it was a service that should be available already seeing that we are located in a populous area.”

After years of numerous phone calls and frustration, in January 2019, Ajax Downs Racetrack finally received broadband internet at their facility without any additional construction costs, with download speeds of 100MBPS. The solution immediately improved their daily operation, and saved them money.

“Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy,” said Christine Ashton, APBOT President and a partner and lawyer for Wilson Vukelich LLP. “We are pleased the federal budget has recognized broadband’s vital role in attracting businesses and talent, innovating and modernizing, and engaging with the rest of the world.”

The APBOT will continue to advocate for broadband expansion and will keep pressure on all levels of government to bring service to every business and household within the targeted timelines.

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Established in 1955, the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is the voice of business in Ajax and Pickering, ON. With more than 600 members, APBOT represents an array of business sectors and small to large organizations. APBOT is part of the nation-wide network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, as well as the Joint Chambers of Durham. For more information regarding the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, visit: www.apboardoftrade.com.

For more information, please contact:

Samantha Paterson, Communications & Policy Specialist, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

T: 905-686-0883 x 229 | E: spaterson@apboardoftrade.com