Rural high-speed internet on its way

·2 min read

The Province has committed nearly $4 billion to connect every region in Ontario to reliable, high-speed internet by the end of 2025.

Adelaide Metcalfe may get it a lot sooner.

The County of Middlesex was divided into three lots for companies to bid on hooking people up under the Accelerated High-Speed Internet Program (AHSIP).

For some reason, the Township was split in two different lots. That means most of the Township in the north will be getting connected by NFTC (North Frontenac Telephone Company), while a smaller southern chunk will be getting serviced by Xplornet.

NFTC vice president Grant Roughley described this divide as “unfortunate” during his presentation to council Sept. 6.

“Our build is 100 percent fibre to the home, meaning that residents in the portion that we’re building will enjoy the same level of connectivity that you would have in any part of downtown Toronto,” said Roughley.

That fibre will be connected to its network already in Glencoe and Mt. Brydges.

Roughley said the Xplornet deal will be for its wireless connections. The minimum speed under AHSIP is 50 Mbps downloading and 10 Mbps uploading.

Middlesex County director of information technology services Chris Bailey said he asked for but had not yet received details on Xplornet’s plans as of the meeting. A press release from Xplornet said, “it will bring fibre Internet to 71 rural municipalities across Ontario and fibre-powered 5G wireless broadband to another 27 rural municipalities.”

Roughley said prices are mandated to be comparable to large urban centres nearby — London in this case. He added the Township can connect people to customer service who can give details as they emerge about connection dates.

NFTC hopes to mobilize locating crews by the end of this month and finish connecting everyone well ahead of the Province’s 2025 target.

NFTC will be laying about 1,000 kilometres of fibre in this third of Middlesex County, according to Roughley.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner