The Municipality of North Grenville is committed to bringing better connectivity to all residents and businesses. The need for a better broadband network in North Grenville has been made more apparent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the summer of 2020 Mayor Peckford began meeting with citizens concerned about the local internet situation. She connected several residents who formed a citizen-led committee. The Municipality began offering free access to internet for students in the fall of 2020 as local youth struggled to access coursework during the pandemic.
The Municipality began a campaign in the summer of 2020 to garner information concerning residents’ experiences with internet. A survey was distributed, and households were able to take part in a speed test. The results showed that most residents desire better service and have speeds below 50/10.
On March 16, 2021, Council directed staff to initiate a broadband study. Storm and CIP CommTech were selected to complete the study. They conducted a broadband needs assessment by gathering, evaluating, and analyzing broadband information and broadband-dependent needs from residents and businesses.
A local broadband market assessment was conducted by identifying existing broadband options and costs across the community. The study reviewed the various types of service and providers available in the Municipality. The study also details challenges internet service providers (ISPs) face in expanding infrastructure. There is also a section detailing funding opportunities, including an indication of successful projects through the Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response program.
The study provides several strategic priorities for the Municipality to focus on moving forward. Read the final Broadband Study here.
Next Steps and Updates
Staff are working on actioning the strategic priorities identified in the Broadband Study, including investigating best practices for partnerships with ISPs, meeting with ISPs to better determine their needs, providing letters of support for funding, informing residents about community builds, and bettering communications regarding broadband initiatives. An important step was taken on October 5, 2021 when Council agreed to enter the Municipality’s first Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) with Rogers. An MAA governs the relationship with telecommunications companies and establishes a process for working with ISPs.
In addition to the strategic priorities in the Broadband Study, Council also moved to “direct staff to explore relationships with smaller ISPs including a revenue sharing model with internet service companies to roll out faster than they are currently”. Staff will explore options for establishing a municipally owned network, and report back to Council with options for next steps.
Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN)
At the end of July, EORN officials said that following a meeting with federal and provincial ministers, “it was clear that the Gig Project is not part of either government’s broadband plans.” At this time the EORN board will not be formally lobbying for a reconsideration. The Gig Project, was a proposed regional project to deliver broadband speeds of one gigabit, bringing ultra-fast internet to at least 95 per cent of the region.
On August 6, 2021 the Federal and Provincial governments announced a joint investment of over $362 million to bring high-speed internet to rural households in Eastern Ontario. This includes a $13.7 million project to bring improved access to high-speed internet for North Grenville residents and businesses. More details are expected in the Fall of 2021.
Available Service Providers
Municipality of North Grenville
The Municipality of North Grenville is working towards bettering the local network in a variety of ways, including working with ISPs, developers, businesses, and residents.The Municipality provides free Wi-Fi at the following locations:North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44North Grenville Public Library, 1 Water Street
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
Local ISPs are making investments and bringing better and more services to the community. ISPs propose new infrastructure builds and can also apply for government funding.
Residents and Businesses
Community members are encouraged to notify ISPs of where better service is needed. Neighbourhoods can also approach ISPs to propose a community build, where neighbours share in the costs with the ISP to bring high-speed Internet to their street/road.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Internet Performance Test (IPT) is a quick and easy test of the speed and quality of your Internet connection on Canada's Internet Infrastructure. Results can be used by communities to measure the network’s performance.