HILLVIEW BROADBAND PROJECT
The Hillview Broadband Project passed another milestone [Wednesday] by receiving a motion of support from the Township of Springwater.
The project is proposed by a numbered company that emerged from a small community in the northern part of Midhurst, in the Township of Springwater. The company is proposing a plan that will bring broadband to the residents of this community by running their own fibre optic cable from downtown Midhurst, up County Road 27, across Horseshoe Valley Road and down Gill [Road] to the northern part of Midhurst.
It will pass approximately 160 residents and run fibre directly into these homes — known as Fibre-to-the-Home or FTTH.
Jeff Kerk, a local health-care administrator, represents the community and company and provided a delegation to Springwater council. He outlined the project and the grant funding that the company is seeking from the Universal Broadband Fund. At one point, Kerk showed members of council a plain white T-shirt that his company was selling for $10,000 as a means to raise funds.
“The shirt was a joke and a way to lighten the mood,” said Kerk. “Our community isn’t a bunch of network engineers or Internet Providers, but we have grit (and) real perseverance to see this project through and improve our own situation. I am realistic that the funding may not materialize because there are many worthy projects, but know we will just keep trying.
"Getting to know my neighbours and community has made this experience worthwhile and has proven to be a beacon of light during these dark times. An ounce of hope and a whole lot of hard work.”
The corporation was formed in the summer of 2020 and has worked diligently at acquiring the proper approvals, insurance and CRTC designations. It has successfully negotiated an agreement to utilize existing hydro line infrastructure, secured a wholesale broadband connection, partnered with an established ISP to assist with the operation of the business, submitted a grant application for funding and now obtained a motion of support from the Township of Springwater.
If all goes to plan the Hillview Broadband Project will be providing service to customer this fall.