Rideau Lakes launches $5.8M broadband expansion

High-speed internet

Thousands of homes and businesses in the Township of Rideau Lakes could soon face shorter waits to download content off the internet.

The township council said this week it’s planning to apply for a provincial grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to help cover the costs of a multiphased, $5.8-million project to extend high-speed internet service to about 2,000 customers in the township.

“Our investments continue to accelerate Rideau Lakes as a rural internet leader,” mayor Arie Hoogenboom said in a statement. “Broadband drives investment, resident satisfaction and youth opportunities.”

Under phase two of the township’s accelerated broadband project, residents and businesses on North Shore Road and in Lower Beverly Lake and the Jones Falls and Morton areas would receive wireless service with speeds of up to 50 megabytes per second. 

Meanwhile, the hamlets of Jones Falls and Morton as well as homes and businesses in the Cove Road/Big Rideau Lake Road areas would gain access to fibre-optic internet service at speeds of up to one gigabyte per second.

The new projects would build on a partnership launched earlier this year between the township and WTC Communications. 

Phase one of the plan, which is expected to take three years, will see about 1,000 households and businesses connected to high-speed fibre infrastructure. More than 60 per cent of the township will also gain improved wireless coverage.

WTC is investing $3.4 million in the first phase of the project, with the township kicking in about $800,000 in implementation costs. Phase two is projected to cost about $2.4 million, with the township contributing up to $469,000, the province chipping in $600,000 under the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program and WTC paying the rest.