Connectivity Updates (Initiative) #1

Connectivity Updates (Initiative) #1

The KLCOA Connectivity Committee has recently reformed to continue advocacy work with EORN and other stakeholders as things are starting to ramp up and move forward.  Board members Arlene Burch and Joan Middleton along with past board members Tayce Wakefield  and Tony Lepine have prepared information, updates and requests for action from members below.

Please Write Your Government Reps to Urge Them to Support Better Connectivity

Haliburton County Mayors, including Dysart Mayor Andrea Roberts, recently wrote to federal Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef (see letter here) to urge her to support EORN’s (Eastern Ontario Regional Network) proposed $1.2 billion Gigabyte Project.  
This project requires funding from the federal and Ontario Governments, a loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and investments by Technology Service Providers in a new fixed broadband project that would be capable of delivering connectivity speeds of up to 1 Gbps (gigabyte per second) to up to 95% of the more than 500,000 homes and seasonal dwellings and businesses across the region, including Kennisis Lake.  (See attached for more information on this project and what EORN is doing to enhance connectivity).
As governments are considering stimulus funding to address the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, this is an important – perhaps once in a generation – opportunity to provide Haliburton County with the connectivity required for economic growth and to connect people in the region with government programs and services, health, education, training, information and entertainment provided on-line.  
We need to encourage our Members of Parliament and Provincial Parliament to support this initiative – please write to them to ask them to support the Gig Project. (You can use this template as a starting point).   (If your home riding is not Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, we encourage you to contact your home MP & MPP on this because we need all representatives to understand how important this issue is to us and to support it.  The markets are working well to provide enhanced connectivity in urban areas, so urban MP’s & MPP’s may not understand how urgent it is that government step in to help in rural areas such as Haliburton.)
Check here for more information on the debate over ‘Which Technology is Best?’

We Need Your Input to Help EORN Advocate for Better Connectivity

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (an initiative of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus to improve rural connectivity, support economic growth & enhance quality of life for 500,000 residences, seasonal dwellings and businesses in rural eastern Ontario) has asked us to help them with their advocacy materials.  (More information about EORN here)

Please respond to with your answer to the following:

If I had better connectivity at Kennisis Lake, I could …..

Examples that we’ve already received include:
…Work from Kennisis in my capacity as Senior Project Administrator for a global technology consulting company.
…Run a charity (I’m the Secretary-Treasurer) from Kennisis.
…Participate in summer school from the lake rather than having to stay in the city to be able to access my course on-line.

Please give us your response to by Wed. July 29.  (We will assume that by responding, you agree to allow us to share your answer with EORN).UPDATE!!!
Haliburton Council to Apply for Ontario Funding for A County Broadband Initiative

On Wednesday, July 22, Haliburton County Council voted to make application for provincial funding for a County 50/10 (50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload) project by the deadline of August 21st and to also make a similar County application for federal funding when the anticipated federal funding initiative is announced.  (In June, Ontario Infrastructure Minister and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott announced a $150 million program called “Improving Connectivity in Ontario” (ICON) to fund broadband projects which will fund up to 25% of the project cost.) 

Haliburton County has decided to retain a single source consultant to shape up its application – as yet, not many details are available.  There are apparently 2 telecom providers who might be interested in partnering with the County in the application. The estimated cost to the County is in the $25-30 million range.  

Because the ICON funding is limited, EORN has decided not to apply for funding under that initiative but to continue to pursue the GIG project.  Haliburton County continues to be supportive of the GIG project as well.  For Kennisis, this means that there are several initiatives underway with the potential to significantly enhance our connectivity