Muskoka To-DAILY

Lakeland Networks answering need for speed with 1 gig internet service in Gravenhurst

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com
GRAVENHURST —
Your need for speed has just been answered.

Lakeland's Bill Gispen and Chris Litschko, along with Mayor Paisley Donaldson and councillor Randy Jorgenson stop traffic to cut the ceremonial ribbon Wednesday on super fast high speed internet service coming to Gravenhurst.

Lakeland’s Bill Gispen and Chris Litschko, along with Mayor Paisley Donaldson and councillor Randy Jorgenson stop traffic to cut the ceremonial ribbon Wednesday on super fast high speed internet service coming to Gravenhurst.

Lakeland Networks announced Wednesday that it is bringing the fastest internet service to Gravenhurst fully within 2018.
Already serving 2,000 customers in Bracebridge and Huntsville, the municipally-owned power and internet service provider will make 1 gigabyte speed available to 1,300 more homes and businesses here.
Chris Litschko, president of the parent company Lakeland Holdings (founded in 2000), said by late summer, early fall the need for speed will begin being answered.
For an incredible $69.95 customers will get 1,000 Mbps (megabytes per second) of up- and download speed.
Rural service is $94.95 per month.
That’s compared to current phoneline service of 6 megs download and 1 meg upload speed most people get now, they said. Cable service offers 120 megs download and 10 megs upload.
Businesses can expect to pay about a third more, about $99 per month.
There will be no hook-up fee, they answered to a question.
Lakeland is also including phone service with 1,000 minutes of free long distance in Ontario in the initital offering, which they hope people will sign up two years for to start.
The first users could see speed in as early as September, said an optimistic Litschko.
“We’re driven to get Gravenhurst connected,” he said.
Lakeland's fibre optic wires will piggyback on Veridian hydro poles, like these ones along First Street South.

Lakeland’s fibre optic wires will piggyback on Veridian hydro poles, like these ones along First Street South.

At a news conference at the Howard Johnson Jan. 17, he said the Town of Gravenhurst’s economic development department had contacted them in mid-2016 to bring their service to town.
Here, 18 months later, with the town’s help and encouragement (but no investment or cost to Gravenhurst) Litschko said they’ve already started work.
That’s following a lot of background work getting this far.
And it starts with Veridian, the power provider for Gravenhurst, on whose hydro poles Lakeland will piggyback.
Litschko said normally such an arrangement between two competing providers can be a little antagonistic, but he complimented Veridian for their cooperation and use of their infrastructure Lakeland will buy service on.
Lakeland Newworks president Bill Gispen,  left, and Lakeland Holding's president Chris Litschko are welcomed to Gravenhurst by Mayor Paisley Donaldson and councillor Randy Jorgenson.

Lakeland Newworks president Bill Gispen, left, and Lakeland Holding’s president Chris Litschko are welcomed to Gravenhurst by Mayor Paisley Donaldson and councillor Randy Jorgenson.

Bill Gispen, president of Lakeland Networks (founded in 2010), told a dozen people at the announcement and ribbon-cutting, that all the work will be above ground.
They done their locates and Veridian hydro poles have all been inspect to see which ones can carry the new wire loads.
Even some ground supports for the guy wires have been installed.
Because this is an above ground project, the $1 million start-up means that at first it will be a bit more difficult to service the main street and certain areas, like the southend businesses and Muskoka Wharf area right off the bat due to prohibitive business costs.
The Muskoka Road issue is that all the overhead wires were replaced a few years back with a downtown reconstruction;
They expect to service them from poles on the streets behind and beside the businesses.
As for the other two surrounding areas south and west of downtown, currently they don’t have enough customer potential to financially justify supporting the investment at present.
It costs about $50,000 per kilometre to install the service.
And about $2,000 per home of business to hook it up initially.
Lakeland is putting in 20 kms of siring into Gravenhurst, in addition to the 600 kms they’ve put in in Bracebridge and Huntsville.
To provide the service, Lakeland has bought a few strands of fibre optic cable from Cogeco, which has the largest of the fibre optic cable bundles going through Muskoka.
This spring residents will see Lakeland trucks and staff on the streets installing wires starting at the north end of town, and moving south along Bethune Drive.
They will be dropping off door-knocker brochures as a courtesy to inform the public.
Their hub (P.O.P.) is at the northend intersection of Hwy. 11 and Bethune Drive.
Once the polls and wire are up, Lakelands sales team will be going door-to-door with their sales pitch.
“It’s a great service Gravenhurst is being offered,” said sales manager Ian Cameron. “We hope they appreciate it.”
When fully rolled out, Litschko said their investment will be about $1.5 million.
It’s all part of a long-term public-private partnership with the federal government, with Ottawa, the province and Lakeland investing $3 million each.
Gispen said the typical “triple pack” of phone, internet and TV is not being offered, because of the future of internet streaming.
However, TV just might be offered. They’re looking at it.
According to a handout Wednesday, Lakeland will be offering the service to: Industrial Drive, Jones Road, Muskoka Beach Road, Lofty Pines Drive. Old Muskoka Road, Centennial Drive, Winewood Avenue East, Oriole Crescent, Islander Drive, Lorne Street, Segwun Boulevard, Lorne Street, Austin Street, Louise Street, Fraser Street, Emma Street, Wagner Street, Farquhar Street, Abbey Lane, Winewood Avenue West, George Street, John Street North, Mary Street North, Sarah Street North, Peter Street, Brown Street, Greavette Street, Hughson Street, John Street South, Bay Street, Clairmont Drive, Wanda Miller Road, Hotchkiss Street, James Street East, Phillip Street East, First Street South, Sixth Stree, Fourth Street, Bishop Street, Third Street, David Street, Fifth Street, Raymer Street, Pinedale Road, Crescent Drive, Pinegrove Street, Kingswood Drive, Hahne Drive and Fairview Drive.
See Lakeland map below for streets.
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Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=29191

Posted by on Jan 17 2018. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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