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  Eastern Ontario broadband expansion

Ottawa's Storm Internet Service recently completed an agreement with the County of Lanark to provide broadband service to the un-served and underserved areas of the county and Lanark Highlands Township Council has agreed to allow Storm to erect towers at three township-owned properties - the McDonald's Corners Public Works garage, White Lake Fire Hall and Middleville Fire Hall - free of charge in exchange for the provision of high speed service at various municipal facilities.

"I am extremely pleased that the County of Lanark, Lanark Highlands, and Storm Internet Service have been able to form a partnership that will enable our residents to access truly high speed Internet service", said township mayor Bob Fletcher.

The township has issued building permits for the three new towers and construction was slated to begin the week of Jan. 14. Storm will be hosting a series of public open houses throughout Lanark County in February to provide local residents with more information about its services, including pricing and availability.

In another effort to irrigate Eastern Ontario's digital desert and provide high speed Internet service to rural North Glengarry Township, New Brunswick-based Barrett Xplore Inc. has won a competitive bid to provide broadband coverage.

Once the formal agreement with the township is concluded Barrett will provide its Xplornet Internet Service to residential and business customers in Maxville, Dunvegan, Greenfield and surrounding areas. Barrett expects its network, a combination of fixed wireless and satellite technology, to be fully operational by June.

The project's first phase calls for service in Maxville early in 2008. Plans for the gradual roll-out of the service were explained at a public meeting at the Maxville and District Sportsplex in mid-December.

The project is made possible through a $42,150 grant from OMAFRA's Rural Connections program and the Ontario Municipal Rural Broadband Partnership, $4,000 from the township and $4,000 from community groups.

Over the first five years of the project, Barrett says it will spend $900,000 in the township, contributing $300,000 in capital investments and $214,520 to ensure availability of the service.

In 2007 Barrett was selected by Ottawa to be its P3 partner to provide broadband coverage in the "gap" regions of rural Ottawa where high speed Internet service was previously unavailable. The agreement was signed June 14 and by Nov. 1 Xplornet's base fixed wireless network build was completed, with all transmission towers live and broadcasting.

Barrett Xplore also provides high speed service in Leeds-Grenville and Kawartha Lakes.



Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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