Bell Canada and the City of Hamilton announced 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. It will be 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.
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 will be 5G capable technology delivered over Bell’s advanced LTE wireless network providing broadband residential Internet access for small towns, farming communities and other less populated locations.
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.
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.
Said Mayor Fred Eisenberger,”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.” Judy Partridge, a member of the Mayor’s task force who represents a large rural area said, “as a huge advocate for broadband connectivity equity for Flamborough residents, this is wonderful news for our rural communities.”