News

High-speed Internet coming to Courtland

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

This county map shows the route a $1.4 million fibre-optic cable connecting Delhi with St. Williams will take. The Norwich firm Execulink will bury the cable this year. NORFOLK COUNTY GRAPHIC

This county map shows the route a $1.4 million fibre-optic cable connecting Delhi with St. Williams will take. The Norwich firm Execulink will bury the cable this year. NORFOLK COUNTY GRAPHIC

Courtland can look forward to high-speed Internet, telephone and cable TV sometime in the near future.

As part of an agreement with Execulink of Norwich, Norfolk County has granted the telecommunications company access to a fibre-optic line between Delhi and Courtland. The trunk line was installed at the same time Norfolk ran a water main into Courtland from Delhi in 2004.

In exchange, Execulink has granted Norfolk access to a fibre-optic trunk line connecting Gilbertville south of Delhi with the Delhi firehall on Argyle Avenue.

This access will allow Norfolk to activate the fibre trunk line that will be installed this year from Gilbertville to St. Williams by way of Port Rowan. This access will save Norfolk the $175,000 cost of installing its own connector cable to the firehall.

Norfolk council approved the trade-off Tuesday as part of a $1.4-million deal that will greatly improve Internet connectivity on the west side of Norfolk.

When the project is finished, Norfolk County will have reliable connections to 17 of its buildings in Langton, Port Rowan and St. Williams. The county’s share of the project comes to $530,000.

Execulink will cover $670,000 of the expense. In exchange, the company gains the opportunity to expand its customer base in Norfolk beyond Delhi.

Wireless provider KWIC Internet of Simcoe will expand its network of towers along the route. Its share of the project comes to $200,000.

As part of the agreement, Norfolk County will provide a letter of recommendation to Execulink for federal funding to bring high-speed Internet and telecommunications to Walsingham and Wyecombe. Innovation, Science & Economic Development Canada has identified the two hamlets as under-serviced for Internet.

“The task of connecting all of south-west Ontario is going to be huge,” said Norfolk’s outgoing CAO Keith Robicheau.

This project will allow Norfolk to monitor activity at water- and sewage-treatment stations in Port Rowan on a fully-automated basis. Without reliable communications, provincial regulations require on-site personnel.

The fibre cable will be installed in the ground. Execulink will look after this aspect of the project. The route chosen will take the cable through Lynedoch, Andy’s Corners, Langton, Port Rowan and St. Williams.

Residents and businesses in the vicinity will have an opportunity to contract with Execulink for the extension of services into their homes and buildings.

“This could be precedent-setting (in Ontario) as to how businesses move forward,” said Port Rowan Coun. Noel Haydt, a member of Norfolk’s telecommunications advisory committee.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com