During Council in Committee on Tuesday, March 3, staff provided a verbal update regarding the County-wide broadband internet project. Substantial progress has been made to date and the County is on track to secure an internet service provider (ISP) capable of delivering county-wide broadband internet by spring 2020.
With assistance from a third party Technical Consultant, staff have prepared a draft Project Agreement (PA) outlining all technical and financial project requirements including: 1) the technical feasibility of proposed service deployment, 2) service deployment timelines and 3) a comprehensive cost analysis. These components are of critical importance and will guide evaluations of all ISPs moving forward.
Next steps involve finalizing the draft PA, issuing the Negotiated Request For Proposal (NRFP) and facilitating individual consultations with the 3 pre-qualified ISPs – KWIC Internet, Metroloop Inc. & Xplornet. Consultations are expected to take place over the next several weeks and will provide valuable insight into the technical and financial feasibility of all ISP proposals.
“Council is committed to finding a financially sound, practical solution that makes internet connectivity attainable and sustainable for everyone,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt. “We’re taking all steps necessary to ensure we find the right provider that is capable of delivering these services in the long-term,” he added.
The draft PA and NRFP will be shared with the public once finalized. Once available, residents will be invited to review these documents and provide input on technical and financial components of the project (e.g: minimum download speeds, service costs, etc). More information regarding this community consultation will announced shortly.
Staff intend to issue the NRFP in April and negotiate an agreement with the successful ISP by the end of May.