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Toronto city council approves plan to create new, affordable high-speed internet service

A file photo of Toronto city hall. Nick Westoll / Global News

Toronto city council has approved a plan to create a new, affordable high-speed internet service.

Council approved the ConnectTO program on Friday, which aims to expand internet access to underserved residents.

“By approving the creation of a City broadband network, ConnectTO will help ensure Torontonians are not being left behind because of the high price of reliable internet service and gaps in the availability of high-speed internet in some areas,” officials said in a news release.

Read more: Toronto city council votes in favour of plan to transform Yonge Street in downtown core

“Bridging this growing digital divide supports Toronto’s most vulnerable and marginalized residents in accessing vital services and resources.”

Officials said the program will use City assets like existing fibre cables, lights, buildings, sidewalks and boulevards and internet access will be provided by a private-sector partner.

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Internet will be offered “at a fair price” and those funds will be used to expand internet access further, officials said.

The program will first be tested in the Jane and Finch area, Golden Mile, and Malvern, beginning late this year.

The second phase of ConnectTO will see the network expanded city-wide early next year.

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