SCUGOG: The Township announced on Tuesday, Jan. 26 that they will not proceed with the acquisition of Communicate Freely for the Scugog Island high-speed internet project as the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement.
“The proposed purchase meant that both parties had to agree, and we did not have that,” Mayor Tom Rowett said. “Communicate Freely has decided to move forward as an independent provider.”
According to a press release, Communicate Freely plans on still undergoing the Scugog Island Internet project, but as an independent company. instead of a partner to the Township.
However, the Mayor stressed that this does not mean that the municipal internet project is dead.
“Collectively, council has decided to keep the municipal services corporation and to look for and find other avenues in which to proceed with this,” he said.
Mayor Rowett told The Standard that project manager Laura Bradley has been asked to come forward with possible options on how the project can proceed.
“We know there are many opportunities to collaborate with other municipalities and stakeholders and we will actively seek out those avenues,” the Mayor said.
Communicate Freely had received a Federal Connecting Canadians grant in July of about $1.9 million, at the time making them the best partner for the Township’s high-speed internet service initiative.
Mayor Rowett said that he “did not forsee” this deal falling apart, and added that there was a level of dissapointment that the purchase fell through.
“There was an extreme amount of time and effort by council and staff invested in this and there is a personal disappointment that we were unable to move forward with this,” he said. “But we will continue to move forward with other areas on a project that we deem extremely important for the Township of Scugog.”
The Mayor also added that council could seek out other Federal and Provincial grant opportunities through the Municipal Services Corporation.