The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus  (EOWC) has awarded its third Local Access Contract that will allow more than 20,000 homes and businesses to connect wirelessly to high-speed Internet across an area that includes most of Northumberland County. The service will be available by fall 2012.
As part of the contract, Xplornet Communications Inc.  will build a wireless network which will give a substantial portion of the region access to speeds of up to 10 Mbps. The coverage area spans over 1,300 square kilometres, encompassing communities such as Castleton, Cobourg, Colborne, Cold Springs, Garden Hill, Grafton, Roseneath and Welcome.
“We continue to make steady progress on our goal of expanding high-speed broadband Internet access across Eastern Ontario,” said J. Murray Jones, Chair of the EOWC. “Connecting to the Internet with higher speeds will open new doors for our communities in terms of quality of life and economic growth.”
This is the third of several contracts that will be awarded to deliver high-speed Internet through wired and fixed wireless services as part of the Eastern Ontario regional broadband project. Work to build a massive, 5,500-kilometre fibre optic network is already underway and contracts have also been signed to deliver high-speed via satellite at improved pricing. The $170 million project is funded by federal, provincial and municipal governments and private sector investment.
“It is gratifying to see this regional broadband network grow. This is another important step towards providing the improved access that will help our residents and businesses to prosper,” added Dave Burton, Chair of Eastern Ontario Regional Network Inc. (EORN).
Xplornet will provide wireless access from 20 towers, including nine to be newly built. Six of these new structures will be in the 401 corridor.
“We welcome this new infrastructure, which will improve Internet access and offer greater choice to our local residents and businesses,” said Northumberland County Warden Gil Brocanier. “This is essential to the success of our community and an important investment in our future.”
“Xplornet is pleased to be able to expand access to fast, affordable broadband Internet across Eastern Ontario through this investment in wireless infrastructure,” said John Maduri, CEO of Xplornet Communications Inc. “The network expansion will feature state-of-the-art technology to ensure customers get the best quality service possible with minimal interference.”
EORN is a not-for-profit organization established by the EOWC to manage all contracts awarded as part of the project.
Once up and running in fall 2012, a variety of service packages will be offered, ranging from 1.5 Mbps to up to 10 Mbps. These speeds will enable users to stream video and use other innovative applications that will support various sectors, including business, health and education.