Startups looking to improve broadband access for remote and rural communities in northern Ontario could soon receive funding from an Ottawa-based organization.
The Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, or CENGN, is looking for expressions of interest from tech firms with low-cost solutions to bring high-speed internet to underserved northern communities.
Companies ranging from startups to multinationals with an R&D presence in Ontario are eligible to receive up to $500,000 for three- to six-month projects aimed at implementing new business models for internet infrastructure in remote and rural communities, where broadband access often is not readily available. CENGN funding must be matched one-to-one by vendors.
The projects will be funded through CENGN’s Next Generation Network Program. The organization receives much of its funding through federal and provincial government grants, and is looking to improve access to online services such as telemedicine and distance learning.
“There is urgent need for high-performance, low-latency residential broadband access in northern Ontario communities,” writes CENGN on the program website. Communities interested in acting as a testbed for new solutions can also apply to participate.
Expressions of interest from vendors are due by March 29, with a formal request for solution application to follow.