Special to The Lake Report
More residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake will soon have access to high-speed, fibre-optic internet as Bell Canada expands its service in town.
Bell’s long-awaited Fibe service has only been available on the east side of town until now and many locals around the rest of the town are glad to be included in the expansion.
Nathan Gibson, senior manager of media relations for Bell Canada, said the “all-fibre broadband network” will connect an additional 2,000 homes and businesses, “delivering internet access speeds up to 1.5 gigabits per second, the fastest in the country.”
“The first connections will be available beginning in the Virgil area next month, followed by other neighbourhoods throughout the town over the next year,” he said.
Those who live in neighbourhoods where the upgrades are occurring received a notice of construction from Bell and Trinity Communications. Much of the preparation work will be done by Trinity between now and November.
Garrison Village John Buchanan said that after moving to NOTL from Mississauga he noticed the service speed was not up to the level he was used to.
“We’re really excited that the crews are coming now,” he said.
“I talked to the guys upgrading the underground conduits which will deliver hydro and Fibe cable, we’re finally getting to the modern age in Niagara-on-the-Lake!”
In Cory Abt's Virgil neighbourhood, where construction is almost complete, everything went smoothly, he said.
“They offered to run it to your house even if you aren’t planning to use the service, thereby avoiding the run cost in the future if you wanted to switch over,” said Abt.
Nick Giannoulaki, who lives in a rural area outside of where the upgrades are taking place, hopes Bell will continue with its expansion throughout the town.
“I’m paying $90 a month for internet that is 1.35 to 1.60 megabits per second and an upload of 0.20, if that,” he said.
Giannoulaki said his internet costs could even increase to around $600 a month with needed upgrades, but with Bell Fibe he would only pay about $125.
According to Gibson, Bell is also continuing to expand its high-speed wireless home internet service for rural customers in the Niagara region, including areas around Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Customers can check service availability for their area at Bell.ca/FastInternet as coverage expands.