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Burlington Ward 6 Rural Broadband Update: March 10, 2022

STOCK_Ward 6 Rural Broadband Project Update_BLOG

Please see below this week’s project update from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Councillor Angelo Bentivegna for the Rural Ward 6 Internet Broadband project, as we continue working with stakeholders and residents to provide information about the completion of this essential rural broadband project.

We look forward to meeting with the residents informally on this evening (Thursday, March 10) from 5-6 p.m. Details for how to join can be found further down this post.

Update as of March 10

Approvals

The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) has issued a Notice of Conditional Approval of a Development Permit. That is here: 22-285 NOD_signed AL KP. Letters were mailed out on Tuesday, March 8 and residents should receive these in a couple of days.

The two conditions that must be met before a Development Permit can be issued are:

  1. The applicant, Internet Access Solutions/Standard Broadband (IASL), will submit a final site plan (complete drawing set).
  2. The applicant will submit a final best management practices report, showing standard construction methods and mitigation measures for individual service line connections. A number of residents have asked whether they will need to seek their own NEC permits to connect service. The work on the best management practices report is intended to replace that, streamline and speed the process, and avoid the need for individual permits from the NEC.

Individuals may need a separate Conservation Halton permit if their access lines cross a watercourse or wetland. Residents are encouraged to reach out directly to CH to learn more, and whether this affects them.

A two-week appeal period has now commenced and expires March 22. If no appeals have been received, and the two conditions have been cleared, the Development Permit can be issued, expected the week of March 28.

There are some outstanding comments from Conservation Halton, Region of Halton and Niagara Escarpment Commission. These agencies are meeting with the applicant to go over them. If possible, this work can be completed within the two-week appeal period, so as not to delay the project.

The other agencies will be in a position to issue their permits shortly after the NEC permit has been issued.

Region of Halton must issue a road occupancy permit, which can be done within a day of the two-week appeal period concluding. They confirmed at this week’s meeting they have consulted with capital works staff and are coordinating any road work. There are no expected delays.

Construction process

IASL/Standard Broadcasting has said construction is expected to begin in May. An updated construction chart has been provided and is attached.

Pipelines, Hydro, Creeks, Regional Road construction

As shared in last week’s update IASL/Standard Broadcasting must seek permits for lines that cross pipelines (Enbridge, Union Gas and Sun-Canadian) as well as from Burlington Hydro, to attach to their poles for lines that must cross over creeks.

IASL/Standard Broadcasting has reached out to Burlington Hydro, as has the Mayor, to alert them to the project and the need for speed in expediting the request. There may be a requirement for a structural assessment of the poles to ensure they can take another line. IASL/Standard Broadcasting (the “attacher”) is required to execute a “Joint Use Agreement” with Burlington Hydro for attaching to poles.  The attacher has requested this and the template agreement will be provided to the attacher this week.

There is a process to attaching to poles:

  • The attacher must provide an application and engineered drawings that show the existing pole can support the additional attachment according to current CSA Standards.
  • The application is reviewed and this process will determine if any extra guying or support is required.  In some cases, the existing poles may need to be replaced because of lack of height, clearances or pole strength. If a new pole is required because the poles are already full with lines, there may be additional costs.
  • Make ready work designs have to be prepared, costing will be provided to the attacher, payment provided from the attacher to Burlington Hydro, permits, etc. are required, materials ordered and work packages assigned and then the work is scheduled.

This is common work for Burlington Hydro.  The process is the same with all of the pole attachers such as Rogers, Bell, Cogeco.  The time it takes to do this is really dependant on the quality of analysis and designs provided from the requesting party.

Burlington Hydro will do everything within its control to keep this project moving forward.

IASL/Standard Broadcasting will be reaching out to pipeline companies this week and will have a further update at next week’s meeting.

Underground Locates:

IASL must secure locates of underground utilities before construction can proceed. They are working with a paid service which can be onsite within two days of a request. Locates will be requested just before construction begins.

Timeline:

Below is information that has been shared with the community in previous updates, but is restated here for convenience. 

Next Steps:

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.

March-April 2022

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

May-June-July 2022

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
Permit Fees

The motion from Councillor Bentivegna and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to waive the one-time fees for the City’s Municipal Consent Permits for rural broadband was approved unanimously at the March 3 Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee. It goes to City Council on March 22 for final approval.

The full motion can be read here: https://mariannemeedward.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Motion-Memo-Waive-Consent-Fees-Rural-Broadband-March-2022.pdf

Webpage:

The city has set up a dedicated Rural Internet Installation webpage for the two rural broadband projects currently underway here: 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.

Informal Resident Meeting:

The informal residents meeting with the Mayor, Councillor and IASL/Standard Broadband is scheduled for Thursday (March 10) from 5-6 p.m. Details for how to join are below and are also posted on the project website mentioned above.

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88952812301?pwd=TXJuVDNQb1pGM3ZPNEVYcXRFb29Rdz09

Meeting ID: 889 5281 2301

Passcode: 2BAj0m 

Or Dial in at: 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 889 5281 2301

Passcode: 312026

Please feel free to share this correspondence with other rural residents who may be interested.

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.

Sincerely,

Marianne & Angelo

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward & Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna

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