Broadband and Connect to Innovate
The Government of Canada announced a major investment in new high-speed internet access for Udora and the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in 2019.
The Connect to Innovate program is intended to improve internet connectivity. Stay tuned for more information on what this means for Georgina.
Members of Council participated in a workshop on a Broadband Strategy and Action Plan for the Town on Feb. 12, 2020. The workshop focused on direction setting for the strategy and looked at a vision, guiding principles, top three priorities, funding options and the future of the South Shore Community Broadband – a wireless network owned by the Town. A recommendation report will come back to Council on March 25 with a terms of reference for the Broadband Strategy and Action Plan.
Workshop - Broadband Strategy and Action Plan
Feb. 18, 2020 - Media Release
May 23, 2019 - Media Release
Oct. 2, 2019to Council - Development of Georgina’s Broadband Strategy and Action Plan
Q and As
- Connect To Innovate is a Government of Canada program to bring high speed internet to rural and remote communities in Canada
- This program will result in new "backbone" infrastructure to connect institutions like schools and hospitals
- In York Region, backbone infrastructure will be deployed creating a fibre optic network expansion that supports public facilities in underserved communities, primarily the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and community of Udora
- The Connect to Innovate program ensures that rural and remote communities across Canada are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age
- Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities and are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.
- Internet access serves as more than just a convenience: it is an essential means by which citizens, businesses and institutions access information, offer services and create opportunities that could otherwise be out of reach
- Building this infrastructure is the modern equivalent of building roads or railway into rural and remote areas
- YorkNet is a dark fibre provider and does not provide internet service directly to residents. Once the Connect to Innovate section of the network is complete in 2021, YorkNet will make fibre connectivity available to internet carriers, who can in turn offer services to residents and businesses in these underserved areas
- Residents who do not have access to high-speed internet or are unsatisfied with their current Internet service, may wish to contact the Internet service providers that offer services in their area to determine if they will be providing enhanced services as a result of this investment
- If residents are speaking with Internet Service Provider’s ensure they speak with York Region on potential opportunities or to clarify specific details.
- The Connect To Innovate program is focussed on serving rural and remote communities. Specific criteria were developed by the Federal Government to identify eligible communities. Under the program, the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the community of Udora in York Region qualified for the funding.
- The project will take approximately two years to complete. It is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021.
- The total project is estimated to cost $5.2 million. The Government of Canada has generously funded $2M and York Region will fund the remaining $3.2M.
- Extending and enhancing broadband service in our rural communities is a top priority for York Region and the Town of Georgina
- Access to broadband is critical to improving the delivery of education and health care while driving innovation, economic growth and job creation
- As a result of this investment, Internet Service Providers will have the opportunity to lease fibre that will enable members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the residents of Udora to connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age
- YorkNet is a separate corporation created by York Region
- Incorporated under the Ontario Business Corporations Act in 2017, YorkNet is focused on maintaining and expanding the Region’s telecom network to support economic development and innovation in York Region, and to provide cost-effective open-access fibre connectivity for Third-Party Providers
- What started out as a small network in 2002 has evolved into a 200-kilometre fibre highway connecting a variety of Regional buildings and assets, including traffic control, transit, social housing units and water-quality monitoring systems. This network also supports administrative services across the Region, connects hospitals, local municipal facilities/operations, libraries and police services
- YorkNet has developed a 10-year plan for constructing the Regional network. Over the next 10 years, additional fibre network will be constructed in all municipalities in the Region
- Partners, such as the Town of Georgina are collaborating with YorkNet on a strategy and opportunities to increase internet speeds to residents and businesses across the Town
- Dark fibre is fibre optic infrastructure that’s not yet in use by a service carrier or a provider. It is an installation of cables currently lying dormant, ready to be connected at some time in the future. Because they literally lack the lasers that send light through the cables, it is called “dark” fibre
- A Lit fibre service is a large bandwidth connection providing high-speed Internet or data service delivered over fibre optic lines. Lit fibre is used by businesses that are engaged in telecommunications, wholesale Internet access, or wholesale ISP services to provide the bandwidth capacity needed for customer applications including email, file sharing, web hosting, data backup, video, VOIP, or VPN access