Internet Connectivity remains a topic of interest for many residents and Council is active with various initiatives, news and service providers in understanding how our residents will acquire service or benefit from enhanced services.
The Provincial government continues its work towards full broadband connectivity in Ontario by the end of 2025 through the Building Broadband Faster Act (2021) and Getting Ontario Connected Act (2022) coupled with the Accelerated High Speed Internet Program ($4 billion funding) for unserved and underserved communities.
On August 4th, 2022 the Province of Ontario announced it has signed agreements with eight internet service providers to bring access to as many as 339 municipalities across Ontario.
The Township of the Archipelago is named as one of the municipalities that will be partially served by the service agreements under the AHSIP. The announcement references The Archipelago in a project awarded to Bell Canada. No scope of the project is defined but Township Staff is working with Bell representatives to express interests and learn details.
So far we’ve learned the rules of the funding are to service residential addresses on roads. There remains a need to also provide a solution to service water access residents within our municipality.
To address this issue a letter was sent to the Province, addressed to the Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure regarding the AHSIP initiative. The letter addresses concerns that the AHSIP may not account for the many water access residences and the need for flexible internet solutions that would be required to provide service coverage to geographically diverse settings like those that the Archipelago exhibits. The letter Invites Ministry staff to engage Township staff on several findings and interests. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
ToA Representatives had a conversation with the a/Director, Strategic Policy and Analytics Branch Broadband Strategy Division, Ministry of Infrastructure. We were informed that their mapping team looked at their different data layers and based on the approach they plan to use to identify underserved premises, it appears that they will be able to identify these island properties. The Township is working at developing a resident survey to define underserved areas – watch for a request to participate in telling us how well you are currently served with internet options.
Ongoing Internet Service Provider (ISP) Connectivity Initiatives
See map of operating wireless ISPs in our area (current activities listed below).
Ongoing ISP Connectivity Initiatives
- New 250’ tower in Pointe au Baril offering fixed wireless.
- A letter was sent to Vianet expressing a desire to leverage current infrastructure investments and expand Vianet’s service coverage throughout the township – North and South. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
- ToA Representatives have invited Vianet to review the Township of The Archipelago to see service market and infrastructure assets to potentially utilize. An in-person tour is being planned out for September.
- Bell proposal for Kapikog Lake Tower W771 reportedly in project build queue for fall of 2022.
- Cited as ISP in AHSIP funding announcement attributed to enhancing internet within The Archipelago.
- Observed enhancing backhaul networks to improve/broaden network capabilities.
- ToA Representatives held discussions with senior management at Bell Networks. Bell representatives invited to tour township and identify service needs for underserved areas.
- Operating fixed wireless services in the southern portion – Healey Lake – of the township.
- New services offered in Pointe au Baril – land access.
Other ISP News/Announcements
- FCC Cancels $886 Million in Funding for SpaceX's Starlink | PCMag
- Might be a part of the connectivity solution for remote communities in Ontario.
- Letter to Minister Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure| Infrastructure Ontario's Accelerated High Speed Internet Program | July 2022
- Letter to Gill Gasteiger, President Vianet | Network Expansion Opportunities in the Township of The Archipelago | July 2022
- Vianet Pointe au Baril Community Information Session | Saturday, May 7th, 2022 - Pointe au Baril Community Center 1pm - 4pm
- Township of The Archipelago Spring 2022 Connectivity Update
- Provincial Government Connectivity Initiatives
- Starlink High-Speed, Low-Latency Broadband Internet
- Bell Kapikog Tower Proposal | February 2022
- Pointe au Baril Tower Project Update | June 2021
- Pointe au Baril Tower Fact Sheet | June 2021
- Vianet Pointe au Baril Project Overview | June 2021
- TOA Broadband Initiative Guiding Principles | May 2021
- The Archipelago Express Newsletter - Connectivity Update | May 2021
INTERNET is simply the product individuals want to subscribe to and use while CONNECTIVITY refers to the way people are hooked up to the Internet, and may include dial-up telephone lines, cable, always-on broadband connections, Satellite, Hotspots and Wireless.
When determining which type of Internet connection is right for you or your family, it's important to understand the distinction between each connection. In today's age, there are numerous ways to connect laptops, desktops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, e-readers and tablets to the Internet. Some of the most widely used Internet connections are described below.
Hotspots are sites that offer Internet access over a wireless local area network (WLAN) by way of a router that then connects to an Internet service provider. Hotspots utilize Wi-Fi technology, which allows electronic devices to connect to the Internet or exchange data wirelessly through radio waves. Hotspots can be phone-based or free-standing, commercial or free to the public.
This high-speed Internet connection is provided through either cable or telephone companies. One of the fastest options available, broadband Internet uses multiple data channels to send large quantities of information. The term broadband is shorthand for broad bandwidth. Broadband Internet connections such as DSL and cable are considered high-bandwidth connections. Although many DSL connections can be considered broadband, not all broadband connections are DSL.
An ISP is a company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. In addition to providing access to the Internet, ISPs may also provide software packages (such as browsers), e-mail accounts, and a personal Web site or home page.
A: Actually, very little of our Township has access to internet service and speed that the CRTC has targeted for all Canadians. Read about the Digital Divide here .
Click here to see internet coverage mapping for the West Parry Sound region