L'ORIGNAL - The United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Bell and Xplornet Communications Inc., are pleased to announce completion of an expanded Internet network in rural areas across Prescott and Russell. With this deployment, communities in Prescott and Russell become the first Ontario communities to get Xplornet's leading-edge 4G WiMAX broadband.
Service is now available to approximately 5,500 residents who did not previously have access to broadband Internet. An estimated 97% of Prescott and Russell residents now have access to broadband. Expanded coverage is now available in the areas of Casselman, Curran, Clarence, Plantagenet, St. Eugene, Hammond, Lefaivre, Pendleton, Wendover, Saint-Pascal-Baylon, Bourget and Hawkesbury.
Xplornet has upgraded existing equipment and added new equipment to its Fixed Wireless network allowing customers to connect to the Internet at speeds up to 125 times faster than dial-up. And, Xplornet's 4G service utilizes dedicated wireless spectrum to enable a stronger connection with less interference. "We are proud to have worked with the United Counties of Prescott and Russell to activate our first 4G broadband coverage to Ontario," said Xplornet's General Manager for Ontario, Sue Good.
Bell is leveraging its existing technology to expand Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Internet service, which will provide high-speed Internet connectivity without disruption to phone service. This type of Internet service from Bell utilizes existing phone lines and jacks, enabling a quick and easy plug and play setup. Now residents within the newly upgraded DSL footprint can enjoy this service.
In addition to building broadband Infrastructure, the municipal project has provided outreach, including Internet training to small business operators. Wireless Hot Spots have been provided in several municipal buildings and libraries.
This broadband project will enhance economic development by supporting the establishment of businesses in rural areas. It will play an important role in the economic development, social development and vibrancy of Prescott and Russell. It will help the community become more productive, innovative and competitive in the global economy. "Expanded availability of High Speed Internet will help Prescott and Russell residents and businesses thrive," said Warden Jean-Yves Lalonde.
This broadband expansion was assisted by the Ontario Government through the Rural Connections Broadband Program. The province approved funding up to $810,304 for this estimated $2,430,912 project.