Bell Canada invests $400 million into Hamilton’s digital infrastructure

Investing in Hamilton’s growth and sustainability as a Digital City

This article originally appeared on by Rodney Barnes. Read the original post here.

As part of the work of the Mayor’s Intelligent Community Task Force (MICTF) and the City of Hamilton’s ongoing efforts to improve effective community-wide digital infrastructure, Bell Canada and the City of Hamilton are pleased to announce they will be moving forward together with a Bell investment of approximately $400 million to expand broadband Internet access in urban and rural areas of Hamilton, the largest digital infrastructure investment in the City’s history.

Over the next five years, Bell and a Bell-funded team of City of Hamilton staff will bring direct fibre network connections to more than 200,000 homes and business locations throughout the City with zero cost to taxpayers. The network will provide consumers with access to data speeds up to 1.5 gigabits per second, the fastest home Internet speeds in Canada.

“The City is proud to work with Bell to enable its investment in the long-term growth and sustainability of Hamilton as we continue to increase our reliance on digital infrastructure – one of the foundations of our city’s health, growth and prosperity – to attract and grow local businesses and manage our busy lives, now and into the future,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger in a press release.

Working in partnership with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Infrastructure Task Force, gaps in digital infrastructure across the community were identified. Subsequently, the City worked to increase investment in digital infrastructure to address the gaps. As part of the plan to enhance Hamilton’s standing as a Digital City, Mayor Eisenberger requested that broadband speeds be enhanced for all of urban Hamilton, business parks and major commercial areas, and rural areas in the community.

In addition to premium network support for the City’s business community, the Bell project includes the expansion of high-speed Bell Wireless Home Internet service to 8,000 homes in rural Hamilton. This innovative 5G capable technology delivered over Bell’s advanced LTE wireless network provides broadband residential Internet access for small towns, farming communities and other less populated locations.

Bell will work in close cooperation with the City and local contractors, including Aecon, Telecon and Sentrex, to employ innovative techniques to minimize disruption to residents and businesses throughout the project. The majority of the network build will consist of new fibre installed underground, with additional fibre located on Bell, Hydro One and Alectra Utilities poles.

This project represents a significant opportunity for the City from an economic development perspective. One of the City’s nine areas of focus in its Economic Development Action Plan: 2016-2020 is investment in strategic infrastructure for economic growth, which includes information and communication technology. This focus area addresses the goal of improving access to reliable, affordable and high capacity and speed broadband infrastructure, essential to local business operations now and in the future.

“Long recognized as one of North America’s top manufacturing centres, the City of Hamilton is also quickly becoming a leader in advanced technology and innovation,” said J. Bruce Furlong, Bell’s Senior Vice President of Access Engineering and Deployment. “Our historic partnership will provide the critical infrastructure necessary to deliver the next generation of communications services to Hamiltonians while accelerating the City’s ongoing digital transformation.”

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