Thank you again to all the Lake Association representatives that participated in our briefing call with Haliburton County CAO Mike Rutter and EORN Communications Director Lisa Severson on August 6, 2020.
I spoke with Mike Rutter again recently and thought it would be helpful to pass along a quick update on where things stand...
EORN is now in the evaluation stage for responses to their $213 million RFP to improve cellular services to Eastern Ontario. Mike Rutter is a participant in the evaluation process. As yet, no details are available as to what the proposals might include.
As reported in the local papers, Haliburton County has issued letters of support for 3 proposals by Technology Service Providers in Phase I (August 2020) of the provincial Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) funding - Bell, Xplornet and North Frontenac. Again, the specifics of these proposals are not yet available. The province will now be evaluating them.
We're hearing that the provincial Cabinet is favourably inclined to support the Gig Project (to bring 1 Gig of connectivity to 95% of premises in Eastern Ontario with funding from provincial & federal governments, a loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank and investments from Technology Service Providers) but federal Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef still needs to be encouraged to "sell it" to her federal colleagues. (If your lake association and members have not yet written to Minister Monsef and provincial Minister Laurie Scott to urge them to push forward this initiative, we encourage you to do so. See attached suggested template for this purpose.)
I asked Mike Rutter when he thought there would be enough information available to warrant another briefing call with the Lake Associations. He thought that by mid-November, he and Lisa Severson might be in a position to have another Zoom briefing session with us. I will canvas availability for such a call with you in early November.
FOCA is engaging on this issue. It is supporting the Gig Project and has positively responded when TSP's have asked for support for new initiatives.
For an update on FOCA activities, please see https://foca.on.ca/utilities-and-rural-services-overview/
KLCOA Connectivity Committee