We’re working to position town for prosperous future
March 17, 2016
Tony Van Bynen
At the end of February, I visited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa with a delegation from York Region council and, just last week, I was at Queen’s Park with the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area mayors and regional chairs to speak with government officials on Newmarket’s priorities to position us for the future.
Why is it important that we have a voice at all levels of government? The federal and provincial governments have significant funding programs and grants for municipal plans and projects that align with their priorities. Areas such as infrastructure, economic development, job creation, climate change, the environment and science and innovation are priority areas for all levels of government and the Town of Newmarket.
Your mayor and council are focused on a prosperous Newmarket, as you may have read in my last column. We believe that includes creating the environment for business to excel. One key factor for success is access to high-speed broadband. I’ve been advocating for fair, accessible and affordable Internet for residents and business for some time now and was able to speak directly with the prime minister on the importance of this for our economy.
As the chair of the York Region broadband strategy task force, I firmly believe the Internet of Things or IoT is essential for our business prosperity here in Newmarket, York Region and on a global stage.
Recently, Business Insider Intelligence (BI) described IoT as a network of objects connected to the Internet that can collect and exchange data. It estimated there will be 24 billion IoT devices installed globally by 2020, with $6 trillion invested in IoT solutions over the next five years. This is due to several factors, including expanded Internet connectivity around the world, increasing mobile adoption, low-cost sensors and larger IoT investments, according to BI.
Cars with access to GPS and Apps, smart home devices for security, lights and your thermostat (and smart water meters of course), home healthcare monitoring, accessing your post-secondary course material from a distance – this is all the IoT and, to do anything, you first need access to an affordable high-speed network.
Canada is fairly behind when it comes to access for the digital economy. The targets to move 5Mbps for download and 1Mbps for upload are already vastly out of date with what is really needed.
We are encouraging the Canada Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to step up targets and open up access to broadband networks as an integral economic driver for Canada to ensure we can compete on a local and global stage.
This is just one of the many innovative initiatives we continue to work on to position the Town of Newmarket for a prosperous future.
For more information on these initiatives, visit our webiste at newmarket.ca.