It was recently announced that Gravenhurst, a town of about 12,000 in the Muskoka Region of Ontario, will soon have access to the fastest Internet in Canada.
Vianet, a Sudbury-based telecommunications company has proposed a $2.2 million investment in Gravenhurst to lay 27 km of fibre-optic cable for a Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network, connecting 1,350 homes and businesses. The FTTH network will give residents access to speeds of 1 Gigabit per second.
The proposal was presented to Gravenhurst council after two years of planning. “Vianet is so excited at the prospect of coming to Gravenhurst,” says Luke Gasteiger with Vianet in a recent release. “The spark to make this happen was back in February at the Gigabit Community Summit hosted in Gravenhurst. We saw the community’s resolve and passion to bring this kind of infrastructure to town. So after some productive conversations with the community and government funding partners, we decided the time was right to launch the project. And, we couldn’t be happier about it.”
Vianet will be investing $1.2 million, and the other $1 million is expected to come from senior levels of government. In the scenario that the government is not capable of supplying the full $1 million, Vianet is prepared to scale back the project in order to at least bring some fibre connectivity to the town.
“This is great news for our community,” says Mayor Paisley Donaldson. “We are very pleased that Vianet has stepped up to provide this must-have infrastructure. It will help us attract year-round entrepreneurs, creative knowledge-based workers and residents that our economic development plan speaks to.”
If all goes according to plan, construction should commence by spring 2015, with online services being available as early as the summer.
Bringing fibre to Southwestern Ontario
On a smaller scale, this is the success SWIFT is seeking. The table below compares the SWIFT project to Gravenhurst’s.
|Government||$1 million||$160 million|
|Municipalities and other||N/A||$20 million|
|Internet Service Providers||$1.2 million||$60 million|
|# of people connected||1,350 homes and businesses||3.5 million people|
If Southwestern Ontario is going to receive 100 times the attention that Gravenhurst received, then everyone across every county needs to show Internet service providers and their local municipalities that you want and need affordable high speed access.
You can do this by contacting your County Office directly, or contacting SWIFT to share your story of struggling without a proper connection. You can also connect with SWIFT on Twitter and Facebook.
Make your voice heard and get the connection you deserve!
Feature image via Google Maps