Corp Comm Connects

Georgina seeks federal funds to connect rural areas to high-speed Internet
April 12, 2017
Heidi Riedner

The town will put up $90,000 as part of an application for matching federal funds to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas in Georgina.

Council voted April 5 in favour of a tax levy budget allocation of $30,000 per year for each of 2018, 2019 and 2020 in hopes of a matching grant from the feds to support upgrades and additions to the town’s wireless broadband infrastructure.

That would address households and businesses in areas of Udora, Pefferlaw and Port Bolster identified as partially-serviced based on the town’s recent survey of Internet access and speed.

The latest funding application piggybacks the Region of York’s application for $8 million under the federal government’s five-year, $500-million Connect to Innovate Fund.

If approved, the region’s total $14-million program would expand its dark fibre network, allowing service providers to offer “last-mile” connectivity to under-served areas in Whitchurch-Stouffville, King, East Gwillimbury, and Georgina by 2020.

Since Georgina is the only municipality in the region to operate its own broadband service, it is eligible to apply for a matching grant from the feds that would facilitate upgrades and connectivity once the fibre network is expanded.

It is projected coverage would improve “significantly”.