Hydro forestry operations

Utilities & Rural Services – OVERVIEW

scroll down for “Electricity” and “Propane” information…

Internet service in Cottage Country

Broadband internet service is a critical part of rural infrastructure and essential to support residents, local businesses and our communities. FOCA recognizes the limitations currently experienced by rural Ontarians, and is supportive of the expansion of high speed Internet and cellular coverage throughout rural and northern Ontario.

image: asterix buttonVisit Ontario’s webpage for updates about projects in various areas: https://www.ontario.ca/page/connecting-ontario-improving-broadband-and-cellular-access


The R2B2 research initiative offers complete solutions for Regional & Rural broadband action. Their research encompasses regional economic and geospatial analysis around broadband services and digital infrastructure to identify current and future needs.

R2B2 also provides support to municipalities on broadband data analytics. These collaborative projects include residential and business Internet user surveys; this data can inform public sector business plans for broadband deployment, and consumer education around Internet performance in rural areas. FOCA encourages you to visit the following sites to have your say:

Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT)  – a non profit municipally-led broadband expansion project created to improve internet connectivity in underserved communities and rural areas across Southwestern Ontario. which includes all of SW Ontario, Niagara Region and Caledon: https://swiftruralbroadband.ca/resources/r2b2-survey/

Oro-Medonte Twphttps://www.oro-medonte.ca/connectoromedonte

Durham Regionhttps://www.durham.ca/en/economic-development/invest-and-grow/telecommunications.aspx

City of Hamilton: https://www.hamilton.ca/city-initiatives/strategies-actions/hamilton-residential-rural-farm-and-business-broadband-surveys


In eastern Ontario, EORN (the Eastern Ontario Rural Network) has been working to improve broadband and cell coverage.  This ongoing project covers 50,000 square kilometres, and now serves over 90% of this region of more than one million people with high-speed Internet service.

Related News:

September 28, 2020 – Canada, and Ontario have committed to the construction of up to $16.6 million in broadband infrastructure in Dufferin County and the Town of Caledon , to extend high-speed fibre-optic broadband services and empower these communities  (Province of Ontario, SWIFT)

September 21, 2020 – District of Muskoka Council has unanimously approved initiating a Request for Proposal to conduct a broadband gap analysis and strategic implementation study for the Muskoka region. This is meant to map the District’s residences and businesses and determine their broadband connection speed. This information will be used to develop a plan to bring adequate broadband service to homes and businesses throughout Muskoka. See more info here.

September 20, 2020 – Northern towns push to approve Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet project ( CTV Northern Ontario)

September 11, 2020 – Northern municipalities fight for improved internet service  (North Bay Nugget)
Once you exclude the five large urban cities in Northern Ontario, you find that over 50 per cent of properties still have less than five Mbps service.  Municipalities are concerned that funding applications to the Provincial funding programs have been over-subscribed and the federal government has yet to announce their funding

Related: FedNor provides funding for the operation of the technology development networks in Northern Ontario. To get specific information about your area, click HERE.
Access to the services that allow us to connect can be tough to find when you live in Northern Ontario. ConnectedNorth.ca was created to help you find these services

September 7, 2020 – Reflections on Canadian Rural Connectivity: Building the Best Mechanism for Market Intervention (Dave Lampron, College of New Caledonia)

August 18, 2020 – FOCA supports the Xplornet fibre proposal for Central and Northeastern Ontario

August 17, 2020 – Leaders of EORN urge action on the Gigabyte Project (CBC Podcast)

August 14, 2020 – Lambton County invests $2.6M to fund additional program (SWIFT news release)

August 11, 2020 – Ontario’s Broadband Problem (TVO program – video link)

August 11, 2020 – Eastern Ontario Regional Network Proposes Ultra-Fast Gig Internet Project (EORN news release)

August 11, 2020 – $1.6 billion proposal would deliver ultra-fast gigabit internet to rural eastern Ontario (KawarthaNOW)

July 2020 – FOCA writes in support of the EORN Gigabyte proposal to the Federal and Ontario governments

July 15, 2020 – Broadband expansion plan underway in Norfolk County (SWIFT press release)

May 2020 – Barriers to deploying broadband-capable networks in underserved areas in Canada (FCM, Submission to the CRTC)

May 31, 2020 – Exploring Opportunities for Local Governments to Invest in Critical Broadband Infrastructure (Rural Policy Learning Commons)

September 10, 2019 – Make broadband an essential service, rural community leader urges Ontario (The Canadian Press)


Electricity

Waterfront property owners represent a major electricity customer group, with over 250,000 meters (mostly Hydro One customers) in various rate classes (R1, R2, Urban). FOCA’s members are concerned about rising electrical rates, disparity in rate classes, power outages, and business practices by electricity providers regarding forestry management and use of pesticides, as well as invasive species prevention.

>Seasonal Hydro Bills explained – an overview from Hydro One

>for more about Hydro costs, visit our webpage: https://foca.on.ca/electricity-pricing/

Hydro One Storm CentreHydro One Storm Centre – Keep track of planned and unplanned electrical outages for Hydro One customers, by smartphone or computer:

http://www.hydroone.com/stormcenter3/

NOTE: To report an outage call 1-800-434-1235


Propane

Propane is clean burning and competes with fuels on efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in many applications. It also offers some air quality advantages: when properly mixed with air to form a combustible mixture, propane emits virtually no soot, and low carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen, which are the basic precursors of ground-level ozone, or smog.

In many cases, propane the only fuel used in remote locations because of its portability, especially for applications where demand patterns change, such as construction sites or cottages.  Many thousands of rural and waterfront residences use propane as a primary home heating fuel source.

The harsh winter of 2013 – 14 saw propane prices spike considerably.  To learn more about  propane pricing, read this summary from the Canadian Propane Association: Understanding Propane Prices (pdf; 1 page)

Michelle LewinUtilities & Rural Services – OVERVIEW