Even in today’s wireless, mobile-first economy, possessing a high-speed Internet connection remains a priority – and a challenge – for small businesses across Canada.

Now one of the country’s leading providers is beginning to address that challenge, with Rogers Communications Inc. announcing yesterday that download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (gbps) will now be available from its Rogers Ignite for business service to customers in the Greater Toronto Area.

In a statement, Rogers’ senior vice-president of enterprise products and solutions, Charlie Wade, said the speed increase would allow businesses to transfer files more quickly, back up data in real-time on the cloud, conduct high-quality video conferences, and connect with more online users at once without compromising Internet performance.

The increased speeds are part of a commitment that Rogers announced last October to make 1 gbps download service available to more than 4 million homes and businesses – the company’s entire cable footprint in Ontario and Atlantic Canada – by the end of 2016.

Presently, however, only customers in parts of downtown Toronto and the GTA, including Brampton, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby, can access the company’s fastest connection speeds. More cities and communities will be added in the coming months, Rogers said in a statement.

For now, small business customers in the GTA can sign up for Rogers Ignite’s 1 gbps download service, which includes unlimited bandwidth, for $149.99 per month with a two-year term agreement, or $199.99 per month term-free.

They can also visit the company’s website to find out if the 1 gbps speed is available in their neighbourhood.

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