Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna and I have committed to regular updates to our rural community as we continue to work with stakeholders and residents to push the essential implementation of rural broadband. In these updates we will provide information from our weekly internal meeting that is attended by city staff, agencies and the applicant, Internet Access Solutions/Standard Broadband (IASL). Those weekly meetings have been scheduled so that everyone knows who has the ball and who gets it next, so that together we can ensure successful completion of this project by July 2022.
The updates will be supplemented by informal monthly meetings with rural residents, which IASL/Standard Broadband is also invited to attend.
The first meeting has been confirmed for March 10th from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and details for how to join will be shared closer to that time.
Update as of February 18th:
The Mayor and Ward Councillor will be bringing a motion to the March 3rd Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee meeting to direct the Director of Engineering Services to waive the one-time fees for the City of Burlington Municipal Consent Permits related to any rural broadband project in the city of Burlington including the current Internet Access Solutions and Bell Canada applications in the amounts of $24,471.44 and $9,360.54 respectively. That motion can be read here: Motion Memo Waive Consent Fees Rural Broadband March 2022
This fee waiver is similar to other business relief we have provided throughout the pandemic, including patio permit fee waiver, free parking, and business grants for protective measures. It also represents one way the city can contribute to rural broadband in recognition of the vital importance of this infrastructure, made all the more essential using the pandemic. All applicants working on rural broadband would be eligible.
Staff continue to post answers to questions that have come in, as well as any new ones, on the city’s Rural Internet Installation page: https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/rural-internet-installation.asp
Please check back regularly for updates. If you have subscribed to the page you’ll receive an alert each time new information is posted.
Where we are now:
The applicant (IASL) must receive a Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) Permit before any development/construction can begin. Most of the project is within NEC-regulated area.
The NEC is waiting on a comprehensive resubmission from IASL/Standard Broadband that includes revised drawings that incorporate all comments or change requests from all agencies including the Region of Halton and Conservation Halton, and a best management practices plan for mitigation strategies during construction.
IASL has said these materials will be filed by the end of this current week.
Once the NEC, the Region, and Conservation Halton receives the submission from IASL, they will commence their review to ensure that all previous comments have been addressed. This typically takes about two weeks. If the submission addresses all previous comments, the Region and Conservation Halton will provide written confirmation to the NEC. If the submission does not adequately address all previous comments, the applicant will need to address any outstanding issues.
Once confirmation is received, the NEC will be in a position to write a report of recommendation. They are not foreseeing that this application would conflict with any policies, therefore will not need a decision by the Commission, and can be signed off by the director, which would take a day or two.
The NEC representatives on our call this week said they have made this file their number one priority to expedite once all materials are received.
Approval is subject to a two-week appeal period. If the project is appealed by any party, including adjacent residents, that can add months or years to processing times.
All agencies (Halton Region, Conservation Halton, City of Burlington)have been working in parallel to the NEC process so will be able to issue permits very quickly after NEC issues their permit. For reference:
- Halton Region’s role is to issue a separate Municipal Consent Permit for Regional Roads.
- Conservation Halton issues permits for areas within CH regulation. A permit application will need to be submitted and reviewed and can be issued shortly after the NEC permit is issued.
- The City of Burlington’s Role is to issue Municipal Consent, Road Occupancy and Load Exemption permits.
Per the applicant’s webpage, once permits are issued IASL/Standard Broadband will:
- finalize and post their construction schedule on their webpage
- order locates for underground utilities, which can take 2-3 weeks.
Per the applicant’s webpage, once locates are issued, IASL/Standard Broadband will:
- bring in equipment
- begin construction, which is expected to take three months
If you have any additional questions please let us know and we will endeavour to get answers and include them in a future update.
Please be assured that we are all working toward the same shared goal of securing rural broadband for our residents as soon as possible.