Local Journalism Initiative
Internet service providers (ISPs) in the Pontiac announced the successful completion of ‘Operation High Speed’, a government funded initiative to extend highspeed fibre internet to rural areas across Quebec. ISPs Cogeco, Xplore, and Bell were responsible for connecting homes within the MRC Pontiac and MRC-des-Collines, with $147 million invested to connect 29,000 homes and businesses in the Outaouais.
Operation High Speed began in spring 2021 and was initially scheduled to finish at the end of September 2022. However, operations were delayed over summer 2022 for all three ISPs, who cited inclement weather like the May 2022 derecho windstorm and supply chain issues as reasons for the delays.
On October 2, Cogeco announced that it connected over 35,000 households across Quebec, including 3,578 homes in the MRC-des-Collines (1,000 in the Municipality of Pontiac) and 6 in Mansfield.
“Operation High Speed was a colossal project for Cogeco, which received the second largest number of households … We’ve never had an extension project of this scale before, and we’re proud of our teams who worked tirelessly to complete the work. Despite certain factors beyond our control that slowed down the project a few times, such as labor shortages, the supply chain, and bad weather, we were still able to roll out nearly 6,000 km of fibre,” said Laurise Roy-Tremblay, communications advisor for Cogeco. More on service availability can be found at https://www.cogeco.ca/en/networkexpansion or 1-866-921-5792.
Bell wasn’t willing to share specific details about the results of its project in the Pontiac, but said it connected 30,908 homes and businesses in nearly 100 communities across Quebec. Bell was responsible for connecting about 10,600 homes in the Outaouais including homes in Alleyn-et-Cawood, Chichester, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, Sheenboro and Waltham. To see if service is available in your area visit www.bell.ca or call 1-866-394-6331.
On October 3, Xplore announced that it connected 33,000 homes and businesses in rural areas in Quebec, without providing specific details about the Pontiac. The company said it deployed about 2,700km of cable and engaged more than 400 local workers. Xplore’s Vice President for Government Relations Charles Beaudet said that the company has connected 25,000 homes across 50 municipalities in the Outaouais. He said that the company is happy with the progress they have made in underserved areas and that they have been receiving positive feedback from customers. For more information and to check service availability visit www.xplore.ca/fibre-lookup/ or call 1-877-959-2934.
Prices and installation fees for highspeed connection vary depending on ISP, home address, and current offers and promotions. Average monthly costs generally range between $60 to $150 per month, depending on the service package.