People in the community have undoubtedly seen an influx of Bell service trucks on the roads lately. Just as exciting, we’ve heard several announcements about expanded rural internet access.

Well friends, I’m here to tell you that Bell has started to open up service in Douro Dummer Township and I want to share the details with you.

First, for the Village of Warsaw

Probably the most exciting bit of news, the Bell Fibe Internet product will be up and running later this summer. Touted by Bell as “Canada’s Fastest Internet” it will have direct fibre internet service to homes and businesses in Warsaw. The line will run through the Village and out County Road 4 to Lonsberry Lane. Coverage will also extend down on to Rock Road and Clifford Road. There is a local office you can contact to get specifics on whether or not your location will have service at 705-876-2057. The local office is open regular business hours only however but they are extremely helpful and have a grasp on the area.

The rest of the Township

Don’t fret, if you’re not in Warsaw, you have new options available to you. Bell is also rolling out 4G LTE Home Wireless Service. This is line-of-sight cellular service but it runs on a completely different band than regular cell service. What this means is, if you are within a certain range of a cell tower that is activated, you’ll be able to get internet speeds of up to 25 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. Unlike many cellular based internet packages, it comes with heafty monthly usage options (there’s a 100 GB package and a 350 GB package) as well as generally low overage fees. The pricing for the large is $79.95/month plus a $59.95 one-time activation fee which includes hardware installation and no contracts. Some areas in the Township are already online and installation crews are out setting people up.

For those of you who are wondering, the hardware is a small antenna attached to the exterior of your home, a modem and a wifi kit.

By calling Bell or following the link above, you can find out if/when the Wireless Home Internet will be available at your address.

What about Nexicom?

The Nexicom towers are still working throughout the Township and active. If you’ve ever been in touch with them and could not get service because the towers were full, now might be a chance to follow up and see if there is new space. There will likely be some attrition as people move to the other services which will free-up space.

This is exciting news for the Township. Access to reliable and fast internet has been an ongoing issue for residents and businesses and this represents an important first step. But there is more work to do.

How about that funding announcement?

Last week, the provincial government announced $71 million in funding to improve mobile broadband and curing cellular dead zones in Eastern Ontario. This announcement was made in Roseneath with our very own Mayor J. Murray Jones on hand along with Minister of Infrastructure Monte McNaughton, several MPPs including Peterborough MPP Dave Smith and other municipal officials. The funding is part of a public-private partnership and requires contributions from the federal government as well as private sector and municipal partners. As such, this is a first step, we still need support from the other partners.

How can I get involved?

If you’re still looking for better, reliable, faster internet we need to work to ensure that the Federal governemnt is willing to move forward with their commitment to provide funding for rural internet. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has a campaign to move this initiative forward. As well, our Mayor J. Murray Jones has been a long-time advocate for expanding internet and is Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Netowork (EORN) which has already completed a major project to build a high capacity fibre network in Eastern Ontario. Continuing to support their work is important to continue to expand networks in rural Ontario.