Up to 80% of Caledon residents could have high-speed internet access by next March

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The Town of Caledon is currently working on establishing a better broadband internet connection for residents with several projects underway.

Three new high-speed fiber-optic network projects awarded via Southwest Integrated Fiber Technology (SWIFT) are expected to be completed by March 2022, city staff said in their broadband work plan memorandum submitted to the board at a budget meeting on Nov. 16.

This project is expected to serve 990 homes in northeast and central Caledon communities such as Mount Wolfe, Albion, Centerville Creek and The Grange.

Once those projects are completed, the report says the city expects about 80% of Caledon residents to have access to high-speed internet service.

Currently, some residents of the areas covered by Vianet, which has entered into a financing agreement with SWIFT to build two of the three networks, are already receiving services.

Other ongoing broadband projects

The city is also working with Vianet on the installation of a fiber optic cable along the Caledon trail that will better connect public facilities and neighboring businesses and homes.

The first phase of trail construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year, for a section between Gore Road. and Old Base Line in Inglewood.

Bell Canada has also been awarded a contract through the federal government for an area around Campbell’s Cross with connectivity expected in 2022, if applications pass the authorization phase.

The broadband work plan memorandum says the city recognizes that Bell Canada is looking to serve other areas of Caledon around Palgrave, in addition to Campbell’s Cross.

The town is waiting to receive detailed maps and the number of properties it will serve in the Palgrave area.

Government impact

The memorandum also explained that internet service providers said one barrier to working with the city was the time it took to approve work on municipal and regional roads.

Municipal staff are waiting requests are processed faster than in the past after changes have been made by the province to their Building Broadband Faster Act, which allows direct request for proposals for underserved areas.

The city has also seen 78 applications so far for its Internet Grants Program launched by Caledon Council in April 2021.

A total of 33 grants were awarded to the hardest hit residents, with less than 25/5 Mbps in service where they live.

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