“We are building this system with a view to the future,” said Jamie Bogue, general manager at IGS Hawkesbury, during a phone interview January 28.
IGS Hawkesbury, founded in 1995, provides wireless broadband service to various rural areas between Ottawa and Montréal. The St-Bernardin/Fournier corridor in The Nation Municipality is one of those areas that the company services and right now IGS Hawkesbury is working on a plan to bring their customers in that area improved Internet service with download speeds of 50 megabytes per second and upload speeds of 10 megabytes per second (50/10), which is the broadband rate that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Corp. has deemed “an essential service” for all Canadians.
“Industry Canada has a map showing all the 50/10 areas and the no 50/10 areas,” said Bogue, adding that the map listing shows The Nation “has very terrible broadband speeds.”
IGS has two wireless towers in The Nation area now to provide its customers with broadband. The company’s The Nation Upgrade Project calls for erection of a third tower to bring the service up to 50/10 speed “at a minimum” for more than 650 people in the area.
The company has applied for federal assistance under the government’s Universal Broadband Fund (UBF). Its proposal falls under the UBF Rapid Response Stream portion for broadband projects that provide “immediate upgrades” to rural Internet service. IGS Hawkesbury expects a reply by spring on its application.
“We think we have a very strong proposition,” said Bogue. “Our proposal would provide the service needed and we can roll it out fairly quickly.