Another local internet provider is getting a federal bump towards rural high-speed internet.
Algonquin Fiber received just over $1-million to service Dwight and Lake of Bays. Around 150 homes are getting a fiber connection in North and South Portage with a $683,644 federal grant, and $371,619 goes towards infrastructure for around 60 homes around Charlie Thompson Road.
It’s part of the country’s Universal Broadband Fund’s Rapid Response Stream, which included nearly $4-million going to Lakeland Networks.
Matthew Young, President of Algonquin Fiber, says these fiber upgrades run straight to the home, and replace aging infrastructure such as Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), which run internet over phone lines.
“The biggest thing is, there’s just no choices with internet. There’s old infrastructure, there’s copper lines. It’s been in there forever, [and] there hasn’t been any upgrades,” says Young. “So the residents don’t have a choice. They have DSL, [and] the DSL can be hit and miss.”
Young says there are still many areas, including where he lives in Port Cunnington, have not gotten funding for internet infrastructure. He says he hopes that will change soon, and asks residents in similar situations to reach out.
“People in the areas that didn’t receive this funding on this announcement, still let our office know,” says Young. “We really do take all that information, and we try our best to: A, get additional funding to build out to those locations, or B, see if there’s a way we can internally fund it to get out to those pockets of people.”
Young says the upgrades to the Charlie Thompson area have already been completed, and about 50 per cent of the Portage area is complete. He says work can start on the other half when the frost clears, and expects it to finish by June.