ConnectTO: The Beanfield Way

Exciting developments are happening at Toronto City Hall that we hope will ensure affordable high speed internet access to under-served communities – something near and dear to Beanfield’s heart. Here’s everything you need to know so far.

As part of its mandate, ConnectTO is proposing to use its existing fibre optic capabilities, in conjunction with ISP’s (internet service providers), to better ensure  under-served communities currently without fibre access, get that fibre access. These communities experience little to no competition because of numerous cost and regulatory hurdles and that means they pay higher prices for slower speeds and worse service than the rest of the city. This is hardly fair.

So, why does this matter? These areas have internet access, so what’s the big deal? Why not just give them a stipend and be done with it? One word: equity. We believe that everybody, no matter where they live, deserves equal access to quality Internet and in this day and age, quality = fibre optics and the speed/bandwidth that provides. Not DSL. Not copper. That’s the ethos on which Beanfield was founded, and how we still think to this day.

As with all policy, however, achieving that goal is seldom easy. So, what’s the solution?

Some providers (you know who) suggest a subsidy for residents of these low-income areas (which, conveniently, would allow big Telecom companies to keep making the same amount of money). The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t encourage investment in fibre infrastructure, and leads to a major lack of competition in those areas – keeping the residents of those areas overpaying for mediocre service. Beanfield, as usual, is taking a different approach.

We want to support ConnectTO’s mission, by providing our expertise in building fibre optic networks to find the best solution. Why? Simple. We think everybody deserves equitable and affordable access to fibre optic Internet service.

On May 4th, Beanfield attended Mayor Tory’s Executive Committee meeting to support the ConnectTO initiative. Our fearless founder, Dan Armstrong, and our Director , Property Relations, Todd Hofley, spoke directly to the Executive Committee about how the city is set up to discourage fibre Internet investments in certain urban areas, and addressed how it can remove these impediments. We want to do our best to help guide the success of this incredible initiative. If you want to check that out, you can do so here.

We’ve been thinking about this for some time, and while this is just one of the first steps for Beanfield in its support of ConnectTO we hope we’ve made it clear –  we’re here to help.

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