OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPAND BROADBAND
The Town of Bradford’s Office of Economic Development (OED) recognizes that rapid, reliable Internet access is critical to both households and businesses. Pursuant to this, the OED has been actively pursing opportunities to partner with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and applying for grants from senior levels of government to help facilitate the expansion of broadband technology throughout the community.
In January 2021, the Office of Economic Development successfully submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to become a host community for expanded broadband Internet service through Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN).
On March 22, 2021, CENGN announced a partnership with Rogers Communications for the development of broadband in the Holland Marsh, to include both BWG and neighbouring King Township.
This project promises several benefits, including:
- 10Gbps High-Speed Backhaul Capacity for the network.
- A high-performance 5G wireless distribution network.
- Small footprint monopole towers.
- Improved 25/5 and 50/10 Mbps internet access services for residents.
- Connection of up to 400 farms and homes.
- Fast network deployment timeframe, with installation starting in 2021 and expected completion in early 2022.
- Recommendation Report for Proposed Telecommunications Tower (BWG Council Meeting-October 19, 2021)
- Detailed Holland Marsh Project Overview v4
- Project Overview with commentary
Universal Broadband Fund
Local ISP Vianet, with the support of the Town, has successfully applied to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) – Rapid Response Stream to support the expansion of high speed Internet. This project will bring high-speed fibre connectivity to up to 200 homes.
On June 25, 2021, the Government of Canada announced nearly $16 million in federal funding through the Rapid Response Stream of the UBF for 27 projects to bring high-speed Internet to 7,511 underserved households in 49 communities across rural Ontario – including BWG.
Vianet, with the support of the Town, has also applied to the Increasing Connectivity for Ontario (ICON) program, to expand their fibre network to 185 under-services homes, farms and businesses in BWG.
This application is pending.
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), a regional broadband expansion project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and delivered in partnership with member municipalities and the government of Ontario and Canada, is committed to improving access to high-speed internet services across Southwestern Ontario.
Focused on enabling greater digital equality between rural and urban populations, SWIFT subsidizes the construction of open-access high-speed networks to encourage service providers to expand broadband infrastructure in underserved rural areas.
On December 11, 2020, SWIFT signed an agreement with Vianet to deploy fibre cabling along more than 73 kilometres of underserved roadway throughout the Towns of New Tecumseth and Bradford West Gwillimbury and within the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio to deliver high-speed internet to 1,207 businesses and homes.
Construction of the $5.8 million fibre-to-the-home solution is expected to be completed with service available early-2022.
Vianet recently completed sections of the SWIFT project that is within BWG and have been connecting customers to fibre over the past two months in sections of Arthur Evans Court and 9th Line, as well as areas of Leonard Road, and some sections just north of the Holland Marsh on the west side of the 400.