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Rural Transportation Solutions for Ottawa

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What is the situation in Ottawa?Add Content/Layouts

What is the situation in Ottawa?  In 2007 the City of Ottawa entered into a Public-Private Partnership with Barrett Xplore to improve Internet service in the rural area. According to the Barrett Xplore press release  at the time,  this project would provide 100% rural broadband coverage to the rural residents and businesses. Much of the rural area still lacks high quality and affordable high speed internet service.

More than a decade later, Ottawa Neighbourhood Equity Index released a report on the rural internet service in Ottawa: “Digital Inclusion Ottawa - Closing the Digital Divide” [ ] According to CRTC numbers from 2017, only 37 per cent of rural households in Canada had access to 50/10 Mbps service compared with 97 per cent of urban homes. Canadian internet speeds are, on average, one tenth of that of urban speeds.


What does CRTC Ruling Say about Basic Internet Service?

The Canadian Radio and Television Commission released its ruling on 1 December 2016 that, among other matters, established   “ 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload internet speeds as a minimum basic service goal.“  Since that release they have scaled down the expectations and set 25 Mbps as an interim objective.


How good is your current service?

 Internet users can visit the Canadian Internet Registration Authority site:  to test the speed of your current service. An additional advantage of using this tool is that it adds your results to its display map so the internet service conditions are evident to all…

Another good site is  the National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map. Here you can learn of the level of internet service as well as plans for improvement. See: 


What options are possible for Internet service?

Improvements in technology continue and getting broadband everywhere in Canada is no longer limited by technology. But we are highly dependent on private service providers.  A good appreciation of the alternatives can be gained from the report on internet service options that was commissioned by the Province of Nova Scotia:” Province of Nova Scotia – Options  for Rural Broadband Connectivity.


Rural Broadband Roadmap - ROMA

The Rural Ontario Municipal Association has recently released its report: "BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY - A Municipal Roadmap" that provides ideas to municipalities on ways to formulate a plan for improving internet service for their residents. A background document is its primer: "BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY - A Municipal Primer"



What others are doing to improve service

In Eastern Ontario, members of the EORN (Eastern Ontario Rural Network) literally surround Ottawa. The participants shared an ambitious goal to make quality high speed Internet service available to 95% of its residents by 2023. Their current strategy is at:  and att. A recent article in the West Carleton Online newspaper gives some insight into their next proposed ambitious target to deliver ultra-fast, 1Gb Internet to homes and businesses in the region through a new $1.6 billion Public-Private Partnership phase.

In Southwestern Ontario, the provincial government contributed $180 million in August 2016 towards a $281M  Public-Private-Partnership that is expected to bring 1Gb high-speed internet to more than 300 rural communities in Southwestern Ontario by 2023.  This SWIFT project (SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology )   [ ] was initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus  and represents the combined connectivity interests of Southwestern Ontario’s 15 upper and single-tier municipalities and is supported by Caledon, London, Windsor and Niagara and Waterloo Regions.

In Nova Scotia, the province  launched the Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia (“BRNS”) project in 2007 to address the lack of access to broadband internet service. The BRNS project made thousands of connections across the province but, in 2016, some Nova Scotians remained without service, or with service that did not meet the demands of current internet use. Given the rate of change of technology innovation since 2007, the Province deemed that it was an appropriate time to assess the current state of rural broadband service in Nova Scotia.

The objective of this undertaking was to investigate worldwide leading practices, the current technology options available, and the potential roles that the Province could consider taking to support the deployment of rural broadband. See the resulting comprehensive report:” Province of Nova Scotia – Options  for Rural Broadband Connectivity.”