On Monday, March 7th, 2022 Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma introduced Bill 93, Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022. If passed, the bill would amend the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021 and the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012 with the intention of removing barriers, duplication and delays making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure across the province.
Of interest to municipalities, proposed amendments under the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021 include:
- Setting required service standards to ensure municipalities provide timely responses to right-of-way permits for high-speed internet infrastructure deployment, including 10 business days to respond to right of way permits with distances of up to 30kms and 15 business days to respond with distances of 30kms or more; and
- Ensuring municipalities and stakeholders use Broadband One Window, an online platform developed by Infrastructure Ontario, which would provide stakeholders with easy and secure access to datasets, while helping to manage right of way access applications.
The legislation would also amend Ontario One Call’s locate process for some situations to ensure that infrastructure owners use one service rather than their own services to avoid duplicate inspections and ensure that locates remain valid for 60 days.