Durham region receives $400 million fibre optic investment

Fibre Optic Cable

The Durham region is welcoming a new investment to build up its lacking fibre optic infrastructure.

Oakville-based ‘Flashfibr’ announced that it’s investing $400 million CAD into the Durham region, to deliver fibre optic Internet, television, and voice services directly to consumers and businesses.

The company’s goal is to provide its home customers with speeds between 300Mbps and 1Gbps, while its business customers can be expect speeds between 1Gbps and 10Gbps.

“The core difference with Flashfibr is we’re bringing fibre to the door and not to the street,” said Howard Morton, CEO of Flashfibr, in an interview with MobileSyrup.

“Today, a lot of the fibre stops at the street, 600 metres from your house.”

What that means is that, unlike traditional fibre optic service that is built to serve a street or section of the community, Flashfibr plans on directly wiring its network into the homes and offices of its customers.

“Today, a lot of the fibre stops at the street, 600 metres from your house,” said Morton. “The challenge with that is you get degrading performance.”

Morton explained that the choice to build a network in Durham has to do with the fact that the region is undergoing a “digital renaissance.”

“Oshawa has been voted as the second-best place to build real estate in Canada, and the second-fastest growing economy in North and South America,” said Morton.

Durham is also an attractive region because of the economic shift taking place in the area.

“Durham is shifting from traditional automotive manufacturing and new advanced industries [like] cybersecurity…[and esports],” said Morton.

The company hopes to capitalize on the Durham region’s educational sector, comprised of schools like the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College.

“We’re looking at those [regions] that are geographically adjacent to Durham.”

“Durham is home to four [schools]…[and] they’re doing a lot of innovation around big data and manufacturing automation,” said Morton. “Those sectors and programs are the ones that can benefit the most from fibre optic.”

While the company is focusing all of its efforts in building its Durham region network, Morton says the company is “currently evaluating a number of regions across Ontario.”

“We’re looking at those [regions] that are geographically adjacent to Durham,” said Morton.

Flashfibr’s first client is Core21 — downtown Oshawa’s innovation hub. The company will begin rolling out its network in the City of Oshawa in June.

The Durham region is home to approximately 600,000 people.

According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the average speed in the City of Oshawa — the largest municipality in Durham — is 11.5Mbps.