Wightman breaks ground on $56 million fibre-optic project

October 22, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Ontario-based telecommunications firm Wightman has officially broken ground on a $56 million project, which, company officials say, will bring “next-generation” internet services to Orangeville. 

In a special ceremony held last Wednesday (Oct. 14), Wightman officials, including company president Rob Figliuzzi, met with Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown to kick-start the project. Beginning at the Orangeville Business Park, Wightman plans to bury more than 350,000 metres of fibre-optic lines in Orangeville, enabling thousands of local residents to access a “higher level” internet service. 

Fibre-optic technology has really come to the fore in the internet service industry over the past decade, and has been described as “the future of broadband” by most of the major players in the business. Presently, there are three companies who offer fibre-optic services in town, including Rogers, CIK Telecom and Xinflix. 

Wightman specializes in provided high-speed internet, home phone and television services to thousands of customers across the province. The company introduced its ‘Fibre to the Home’ package in 2008. This technology uses laser pulses of light, sent through tiny strands of glass, to transmit data, allowing for a significant increase in the speed at which internet signals can be carried. 

It’s expected that this investment from Wightman will help to plug a major infrastructure gap in the community. Mayor Brown, during last week’s ground-breaking, called the occasion a “momentous day” for the town. 

“Our high-speed internet capability will advance leaps and bounds, thanks to Wightman’s multi-year project. The initiative is a huge step forward for Orangeville,” Mayor Brown previously told the Citizen. “As the pandemic has made clear, digital infrastructure is a critical piece of a complete community as a tool to attract and retain business and support our residents in home life, the modern workforce and education.”

Orangeville is the 12th community in which Wightman has launched a wide-scale fibre-optic project. With construction now underway along Centennial Road, company officials say they will move onto the residential sector next year. The company plans to open a retail location in town in early 2021. 

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