By Darren Lum
Construction for a fibre optic network could start as early as this summer said North Frontenac Telephone Company’s Grant Roughley to Dysart council at a public meeting on Tuesday March 29.
Roughley updated them on the progress of bringing “ultra high-speed” service to the Highlands and North Hastings.
The vice-president said the Sharbot Lake based company is at an “evaluation stage to look at the business viability of expanding the fibre optic networks in these areas” which include Haliburton Minden and Bancroft.
“We’re about halfway through the process. We actually had our design and construction teams in town last week specifically” he said.
They looked at how the fibre network will be constructed and now will look at what the detailed construction plan will be. Part of the feasibility of this will be related to a cost study.
“We anticipate in two or three weeks from now we will be able to sit down and assess how to prioritize what communities to actually physically start fibre optic network builds. Our hope is to have our crews start in one to two communities at some point this summer. Currently we’re on track for that critical path” he said.
Roughley adds the difference between what is available now compared to their proposed network service is greater potential as far as high-speed and high bandwidth goes.
It was reported in the Echo this service could bring speeds 10 to 100 times faster than standard DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) services (depending on the current state of a customer’s Internet connection and the package they subscribe to).
He said there is an ever-increasing need for higher speed connections particularly when it comes to the public’s consumption of entertainment providers such as Netflix or interactive software like video games video conferencing or Telemedicine.
As reported in the Echo when it comes to Haliburton and Minden this company is likely to use the backbone of fibre built by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network which was a collective effort by eastern Ontario municipalities to expand high-speed Internet to the area.
This is dependent Roughley said on how competitive the rates associated with the EORN project are compared to current market rates.
“We see a need for fibre to home which gives it the strongest level of bandwidth reliability and consistency and we believe there is a strong market” he said.
Editor’s note: North Frontenac Telephone Company is 50 per cent owned by London Publishing Corporation. London Publishing Corporation shares the same ownership as White Pine Media which in turn owns the Minden Times and Haliburton Echo.