Cogeco to spend $1bn on broadband expansion in Canada

13 June 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Cogeco Communications announced plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next four years in the expansion of its hybrid fibre network.

The decision comes as the company enters into a period of growth and it attempts to extend its regional high-speed internet coverage across Ontario and Québec.

“Thanks to the strong local presence we’ve been building for the past 60 years, we can gauge first-hand just how important high-speed Internet connectivity is for communities. We are delighted to be working closely with so many municipalities and towns to extend and enhance our network so that we can deliver ultra-high-speed connectivity to as many residents, families and businesses as possible,” said Philippe Jetté, president and chief executive officer, Cogeco and Cogeco Communications. “We welcome the renewed commitment from the different levels of government to accelerate this type of investment and intend to participate actively in the various government programs and incentives put forward to support high-speed Internet access to unserved and underserved communities.”

Through its Canadian subsidiary Cogeco Connexion, Cogeco Communications offers Internet service of more than 120Mbps across more than 400 municipalities in the two provinces. In addition, it is rolling out 1Gbps Internet speeds and continuously aims to deliver a personalised video experience, while preparing its entry into the wireless services market.

Cogeco says that it is invested in supporting Ontario’s and Québec’s regional and rural economic development. Recently announced programs supporting that gaol include the government’s Universal Broadband Fund and Accelerated Investment Incentive, the CRTC’s Broadband Fund, the Québec government’s Québec haut débit program, and the funds available under the Ontario government’s newly announced Broadband and Cellular Strategy.

In February, Global investment firm Digital Colony entered into a definitive agreement with Cogeco Communications to acquire Toronto-based Cogeco Peer 1 for CAD 720 million ($574m).

Cogeco Peer 1 will soon become a standalone business following its sale to Digital Colony, which is dedicated to strategic opportunities in digital infrastructure. The company will remain headquartered in Toronto and adopt a new brand.