City lays groundwork for fibre optic cable network


Scott Stewart, chief administrative officer, Trevor Lee, deputy chief administrative officer of Corporate Services, and Sasha Einwechter, Information Technology general manager, stand along Wellington Street East at Surrey Street East where work is happening on the City’s fibre optic cable network.

Guelph, Ont., August 31, 2021 – With a shovel in the ground, the City has taken the first step in building its own digital network, removing its reliance on third-party service providers.

Over the next five years, more than 80 kilometres of fibre optic cable will be installed below ground across Guelph to connect the network to City-owned facilities and 187 traffic controllers.

“Installing our own fibre optic cable network positions the City for sustainable growth and potential revenue opportunities by leasing unused fibre strands to local businesses or institutions, and contributes to a smart local economy that is connected,” says Sasha Einwechter, the City’s Information Technology general manager.

She adds, “Owning our own network also reduces external costs for the City.” It costs $380,000 annually to connect the City’s 20 facilities and traffic controllers to fibre optic owned by third-party providers.

Einwechter further explains that fibre communication is a benefit to Guelph as it sets the stage for automated traffic management, traffic signal phasing for buses to move through traffic faster, and intelligent transportation systems to provide police, fire, and ambulance with a green light at intersections that can reduce driver confusion, conflicts, and improve emergency response times.

“It’s expected that once the network is fully implemented, the Internet connection to and between City facilities will be faster, and in some cases up to 100 times faster,” she says.

For each connection, the City will transition the location from a third-party service provider to the City-owned fibre connection.

City-owned facilities include:

  • recreation centres and arenas
  • fire halls and paramedic stations in Guelph
  • Operations, 45 Municipal Street
  • Water Services, 29 Waterworks Place
  • Waste Water Services, 530 Wellington Street West
  • Guelph Transit, 170 Watson Road South
  • Solid Waste Resource Centre, 110 Dunlop Drive
  • Riverside Park administration building
  • Eastview Community Park administration building
  • John McCrae House, Guelph Civic Museum and River Run Centre
  • Baker Street parking lot (for future Baker District development)

It’s expected that most of the work will have little impact to the community. However, at times, lane reductions or road closures may be necessary. Any significant impacts to pedestrians, cyclists or vehicle traffic will be communicated publicly at

The network is expected to be done by spring 2026. Council approved $6.9 million for the project as part of the City’s 2021 budget. The life expectancy of the fibre cable being installed is greater than 50 years.

Media contact

David Boyle, Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2311
[email protected]