Province assists in broadband initiative UXBRIDGE — North Durham communities will soon have increased access to broadband communications thanks, in part, to cash handed down from the Province. Durham Region announced on Friday, Sept. 28, it has secured $262,000 from the Ontario government to create high-speed internet service in Uxbridge, Scugog and Brock. The Region, municipalities, telecommunications providers and other private partners will contribute to the project costs. In a July report presented to Uxbridge council, cost estimates of the project were provided. The forecasted cost to create broadband capability in Uxbridge was $242,000. Of that number, the Province was to chip in $80,667, the Region would contribute $40,333, and Uxbridge would be responsible for the other $40,333. The numbers were slightly higher in Scugog with Durham to pay $49,000 and Scugog to chip in the same amount toward a total bill of $294,000. Brock’s municipal share was pegged at $41,667, with the Region again matching that number. Brock’s total cost was expected to be $250,000. The program will enhance broadband access to the Uxville Industrial Park located at the west end of the township. Scugog’s Industrial Park will is also targeted for the service, with access to be provided throughout Brock Township. “This funding represents a great opportunity for the economic and social development of Durham Region,” stated Regional Chair Roger Anderson. “We are committed to providing the infrastructure necessary to ensure the sustainability and economic growth of our rural communities. An efficient, secure and reliable telecommunications system is key to increasing the competitive advantage of the townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge.” Marlene Werry, Durham Region’s Rural Development Officer, submitted the application on behalf of the northern communities. “It is important to service the rural areas for the retention and expansion of existing businesses, as well as home-based businesses, which play a significant role in the local economy,” stated Ms. Werry. “Broadband access provides an excellent incentive for high-tech companies to consider north Durham as an option to locate their business.” The selection of one or more telecommunications providers will be done through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP is posted on the Region’s website at www.region.durham.on.ca/purchasing.