Pembroke — Ontario is taking a giant step towards improving mobile broadband and curing cellular dead zones in Eastern Ontario as the province announced today $71 million in funding. About 10 percent of rural Eastern Ontario has no mobile broadband connection, leading to dropped calls, missed emergency services and a lack of opportunity. “It is essential that proper infrastructure is in place to support public safety across the province, especially in my riding, where cellular coverage is often lacking,” John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke said. “Our government is taking action to improve connectivity so that people can feel confident and safe, at home and on the road.” With today’s announcement, Ontario is committing $71 million to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s (EORN) project to virtually eliminate coverage gaps in the region. The public-private initiative requires contributions from the federal government as well private sector and municipal partners. Total value of the project is estimated at $213 million. To date, the federal government has not committed to funding. Ontario is hopeful the federal government will commit to funding their share of the project.