“We end up with a situation where everyone, hopefully, will see the installation of fiber throughout the Town of Mono,” said John Creelman, Mono’s Deputy Mayor. He also highlighted how there was no suggested cost to the town, just cooperation.
At the meeting held by the council for the Town of Mono on February 9th, 2021, council was asked to support the application to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) put forth by Rogers Communications. The UBF is a federally-funded and administrated program that, according to Innovation Canada, has been designed to pay for broadband infrastructure projects that will bring high-speed internet with a minimum download speed of 50 megabits per second download speed and a minimum upload speed of 10 megabits per second to rural and remote communities.
In the Town of Mono’s letter of support for the initiative, it states that “Rogers application to the UBF program and their ‘leave no home behind’ build strategy and commitment to bringing broadband to entire areas of underserved homes is a game-changer for our community and, if approved, will provide more households, businesses and other organizations in our region with the broadband access they need to take advantage of digital opportunities, especially with respect to business, education, health and public safety.”
“The Rogers application is completely comprehensive in terms of the whole town,” explained Creelman.
Moreover, according to the Deputy Mayor, multiple internet service providers are interested in applying to the Universal Broadband Fund to lay fiber optic cable in the Town of Mono. Creelman mentioned how he was told that the federal government would sort through the applications to make sure that there is no overlap and to ensure that funding is used efficiently. The town’s letter also asserted that the municipality’s support of all these proposals should highlight the need for providing internet services to the area, whether it is completed by one or more providers.
Mono’s Chief Administrative Officer Mark Early added that he had recently been notified through the County of Dufferin of another company interested in supplying internet services to the Town of Mono. Although not much information was provided to him, including whether it was be a wireless or fiber project being proposed, he was letting the council know that “there are others coming to the table”.
As far as the SWIFT program goes, Deputy Mayor Creelman declared that if “Rogers or Vianet is prepared to take care of the balance of the Town of Mono” not already included in the already-approved SWIFT projects, “it permits SWIFT to move onto other parts of the County that aren’t as fortunate as we apparently are as far as getting the attention of the internet providers.”
Due to further investment into the Universal Broadband Fund, Innovation Canada expects at least 90% of Canadians will have access to high-speed internet by the end of 2021. They project this to increase to 98% of Canadians by 2026, with 100% of the population being reached by 2030.
Individuals are encouraged to reach out to their municipalities and their local Internet service providers to notify them about the Universal Broadband Fund and to encourage them to apply for funding. Innovation Canada states that any road segment of at least 250 meters is eligible if it is identified on the National Broadband Internet Availability Map as not having 50/10 Mbps coverage.
Applications for the Universal Broadband Fund close March 15th, 2021.
Reference Links – Internet in Town of Mono: Possibly ‘No Home Left Behind’
- Council Meeting 3-2021 | 9 Feb 2021 – Town of Mono YouTube Channel
- Town of Mono’s Support for Roger’s Application to the UBF – Town of Mono Website
- Universal Broadband Fund – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- The $10 Million SWIFT Deal – Who Actually Gets Internet?
- Universal Broadband Fund: Application guide
- Universal Broadband Fund: For applicants – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- National Broadband Internet Availability Map – Innovation Canada
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