In today's quickly evolving digital world, broadband is critical for vibrant, sustainable communities. A global pandemic has only reaffirmed our increasing reliance on staying connected virtually.
Unfortunately, a digital divide exists. In December 2016, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set a universal service objective (USO) to ensure access speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mb/s) download and 10 Mb/s upload. We have spent the past year documenting the presence and availability of internet services throughout the County. The results to date have provided us with an understanding of internet services throughout the town, hamlets, villages and rural areas. As expected, the service levels are substantially higher in the more densely populated portions of the County and no rural areas within the County of Minburn meet the 50/10 Mb/s USO.
The Canadian and Provincial governments are now making a push to facilitate high speed internet to underserved parts of the country. There have been and continue to be grants for municipalities to expand internet service in their areas and a major requirement for grant funding is to have a “shovel ready” project ready to go. The level of service required to meet grant requirements is for end users to have 50 Mb download and 10 Mb upload. This speed can support high speed streaming.
Most municipalities have determined that it is up to the private sector to provide services, but it is possible for local government to ensure that facilities are put into place for all vendors to utilize. One example of this type of facility is communication towers that allow all vendors to access and share in the cost.
What can you do to help?
The County of Minburn has partnered with the CIRA to get a more detailed understanding of the internet speeds throughout the County region. Simply click on the following link to test your internet speeds while connected to your home modem (don't connect using your wireless network): https://performance.cira.ca/minburncounty
We encourage you to test your speeds on different days and at different times of the day in order to provide us with accurate data. The data from the speed test is 100% confidential and will be used to support applications for improved internet coverage throughout the County of Minburn.
As of May 24, 2022 their have been 229 tests run throughout the County.
Still have questions on how to run the test? Click here to access the detailed 'how to' guide.
What is the County of Minburn doing?
In August 2021 we completed a Broadband Discovery document to confirm the existing state of broadband in the County of Minburn. This study confirmed that the majority of County residents and businesses are underserved by current internet services, with the rural area of the County not meeting CRTC basic standards for broadband internet (Figure 4).
A further investigation of where 50/10 may be offered is shown in Figure 16. However, without sufficient backhaul, internet service will not be able to achieve these data speeds.
We're now currently evaluating the type of resources required to deliver broadband to ratepayers and businesses. Once this study is complete, we can determine a path forward for making high speed internet available to all ratepayers and businesses.
In April 2022, County Council approved a Rural Broadband policy which will help shape the direction the County will pursue in acquiring high speed internet over the next several years.
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