Today, the City of London, London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), and Downtown London announced the first recipient of the Last Mile Fibre Optic Connection Grant Pilot Program. A high speed Fibre Optic connection was installed in the iconic building located at King Street and Clarence Street that housed the former Novacks.
The combination of high installation costs, monthly fees, and demand for a long term contract have previously posed barriers for startups and small business to access Fibre Optic technology. The two-year pilot project provides a grant of up to $20,000 per building for Fibre Optic connectivity for startups, small and medium companies to help business grow in downtown London. Installation is being done by TechAlliance member Start.ca. In addition, Start.ca will be investing $1 million in 2015-2016 to continue expanding the downtown Fibre Optic network.
“Access to fibre optic services gives downtown properties a competitive advantage as locations of choice for companies and individuals who need reliable, fast, and competitively-priced internet services to conduct their business,” said Janette MacDonald, CEO & General Manager Downtown London. “We see this program as a step forward to help us attract targeted businesses to our district.”
web.isod.es, an interactive digital video production company owned by Adam Caplan, and artist collective Vibrafusion Labs, a digital media lab with ties to Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone incubator in downtown Toronto, will benefit from Internet connection speeds up to 25 times faster than the old Internet connection at no additional monthly cost. Leveraging this high speed installation is a third organization, the UnLondon Digital Media Association, that has leased the remaining space in the King Street building and will be providing on-site media production facilities, shared desk space and a community support platform and also running programs to incubate a number of high-tech and retail-focused businesses.
Businesses eligible to apply for the program include those in the creative industries, digital marketing and gaming, information technology, medical technology, and similar industries. The target area for the program is the central core of downtown, focused on Dundas Street and King Street between Wellington Street and Ridout Street.
“Prior to this program, we received quotes for monthly fees in the thousands of dollars for Internet services that weren’t as fast as what the average Londoner gets at home. Now, we’re able to keep our monthly costs at a level that will allow us to grow our company alongside other innovative digital media businesses in downtown London,” said Adam Caplan, Principal & Founder, web.isod.es
For more information the Last Mile Fibre Optic Connection Grant Program visit http://ledc.com/assets/pdf/Last_mile_fibre_optic_connection_grant_fact_sheet-final.pdf