High-speed rural Internet coming closer in MM

by MM2020

MM2020 is a volunteer organization that has been working with the town’s Community Economic Development Committee for the past eight months. Our goal is to provide reliable high-speed Internet access to our rural residents at competitive prices. 

Our research has shown that high-speed access for our rural heartland is not in the deployment plans of national providers like Rogers and Bell, and that without it our community as a whole is economically disadvantaged – a prosperity gap that will grow larger the longer we are without service.

Our initial goal was to organize an application for funding from the Federal Government’s Connect To Innovate (CTI) program.  With the help of the Mississippi Mills Council, we have done that. Now we are waiting to hear back from the CTI program.  The CTI program has had more than the number of expected applicants; if we do get any funding, it may be too little to erase our prosperity gap.

As a result of working on the CTI application, we realized that we cannot afford to passively wait for government money to arrive. We decided to take the initiative and try to make things happen.  Other rural towns (like Olds, Alberts) self-organized and built their own fibre networks. In fact, there are case studies across North America where towns have done this. It seems well within our grasp to do the same.

MM2020’s search for a community-minded partner led us to a small local startup called “The Community Fibre Company” (CFC).  MM2020’s goals of being focused on rural provision of high-speed Internet, on not being profit driven (MM2020 is all volunteers) and having a long-term vision for the economic development of our community are aligned with CFC.

Community Fiber Company is founded and staffed by young, energetic, local entrepreneurs.  MM2020 is, at this point, made up entirely of retired or semi-retired people with deep experience in business and technology. It was a natural fit.

The MM2020/CF partnership produced a plan for Mississippi Mills.  We were fortunate enough to get some input from Google on the viability of the network architecture and the technology.  That gave us the confidence to proceed to the implementation of the first phase (Appleton, Ramsay Concession 8 and Monroe Meadows).

We’ve seen good progress. The engineering work for installing the cable on the poles is done.  The engineering report is required before we can receive a permit from Bell (who owns the poles).  We must prove that the poles can handle one more cable.  After receiving a permit, we can then install the fibre cable.  And, we then must pay Bell a monthly rental fee to use the poles.

We have been communicating with people in our community who provided us with an email address.  So far, the response has been good.  Our target date for turning on the service is spring 2018.  But based on the response we have received so far, it may be possible to accelerate the timetable.  To do that we need a few more people to express interest.  If you want to be placed on our distribution list then please fill out our signup form here. (http://eepurl.com/cWp0rT)

We are very happy with the deal we have crafted with Community Fibre Company. We are offering three plans for residential high-speed Internet service:

Plan Download Upload Cap (Limit) Price
Lite 25 Mbps 10 Mbps 300 GB $85
Standard 100 Mbps 25 Mbps Unlimited $100
Premium 1000 Mbps 100 Mbps Unlimited $150

These prices are comparable to those offered by the major carriers to subscribers in the urban areas.  MM2020 believes that it has negotiated the best deal for rural residents.  It is unlikely that anyone can provide a better value.

As mentioned earlier, we want to advance the date for delivery from spring 2018 to fall of 2017.  If we get enough subscribers signing up by Aug 14th, 2017 then we will advance the target date. If you want more information on rural high-speed service from Community Fibre Company and to know when the company may be deploying to your area of the municipality, please click here and we will send you more detailed information.

You can follow us on our Facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/MMhighspeed/).