Internet Connectivity remains a topic of interest for many residents and Council is active with various partners in understanding how our entire Township will be covered.
The Provincial government continues its work towards full broadband connectivity in Ontario by the end of 2025. There is a commitment of nearly $4 billion in funding-based opportunities for unserved and underserved communities. The Building Broadband Faster Act (2021) and Getting Ontario Connected Act (2022) coupled with the Accelerated High Speed Internet Program ($4 billion funding) may soon produce some news about what could be coming in the Archipelago and who will be doing it. The province just closed an auction to fund internet service enhancement projects across the province. To date there has been one announcement from the Province (April 19th) identifying some of the winning bidders and the communities that will be served. We are still waiting for further announcements to see how the subsequent announcements will impact the Archipelago.
News about Starlink continues to emerge and the Beta test for the Starlink service is something that dozens of residents are trying. It remains an option for individuals in our Township.
We continue to see service expansion by many of our existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are working closely with them to create new service options and widen service coverage in our township. –
North Archipelago - Wards 1-3
Efforts to enhance bandwidth and the availability of internet service options in the north section of the township have been addressed though a new series of towers connecting back to Parry Sound.(see inset) The most recent tower addition and furthest north is the new 260' Pointe au Baril tower jointly built by the Township and Vianet. Located in Pointe au Baril on North Shore Road, and operating this spring this new infrastructure is expected to provide new broadband fixed-wireless internet services to a coverage area of 8 kilometers and create further opportunities to enhance coverage in the north.
Existing internet services via Bell's cellular network exist for most of the north and the Skerryvore area also supports a fixed wireless solution via NetSpectrum.
Residents in the north might also be eligible for internet service though Spacelink's satellite beta program.
South Archipelago - Wards 4-6
Ward 4 - Several activities associated with Bell were observed last summer. Bell has deposited submersible fibre on the Georgian Bay floor down the South Channel from Parry Sound. The result reportedly will be a more robust cellular network. Bell is also beginning to emerge with proposals to offer fixed wireless from some tower infrastructure.
Ward 5&6 - Fixed wireless service exists from Lakeside Wireless around Healey Lake and up into the south Crane Lake area. Bell has just recently circulated a proposal to erect a new tower (52m) between Healey and Kapikog Lakes (adjacent Penn Road) on Crown Land. The proposal has a number of steps to advance through before MNR could provide Bell a site to use. The proposal is to address cellular coverage but will also provide a fixed wireless internet service via the same infrastructure. If the project continues to advance it would not be until 2024 that the proposed tower is built.
The Township continues with a number of initiatives through its Connectivity Committee and our website page <<https://www.thearchipelago.on.ca/p/internet-connectivity>> can be a source of news and updates. We strive to be a catalyst for internet enhancements and new services.
Help us identify service gaps or deficiencies in our township by completing an internet assessment survey at your location in the township: https://performance.cira.ca/smartnow
- Vianet Pointe au Baril Community Information Session | Saturday, May 7th, 2022 - Pointe au Baril Community Center 1pm - 4pm
- 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