Centre for Smart Community Innovation lends expertise to Lakeshore broadband project

Nearly 15,000 Lakeshore residents are expected to have broadband internet access soon, thanks in part to the efforts of UWindsor’s Centre for Smart Community Innovation, a lead participant in the Windsor Essex Development Network (WEDnet).

Lakeshore town council recently approved a plan to extend high-speed internet services to underserviced areas of Lakeshore under the province’s Rural Connections Broadband Program. The program funding was received in part, as a result of the efforts of CSCI’s research and development officer, Kristina Verner, and will provide open access, minimum sustained download speed and offer monthly service plan costs that are at or near urban rates.

CSCI will oversee construction of the project, whose costs are expected to be shared through a grant from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and internet provider Xplornet Communications Inc.

“We are proud to take the lead on such an important community initiative,” says Todd Sands, executive director of CSCI. “This broadband program is vital to residents of Lakeshore who are underserviced or currently may not receive any internet service to their homes or businesses. Community partnerships like these bring University of Windsor expertise and resources to our neighbours and help improve the quality of life in our region.”

Construction is set to begin shortly with completion of the project expected by the end of the year.