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, there exists a digital divide. In December 2016, the CRTC set a universal service objective (USO) of at least 50 Mb/s down and 10Mb/s up. As evidenced by the most recent mapping data, no rural areas within Flagstaff County meet the 50/10 Mb/s USO. Urban areas fare better, with four communities (Daysland, Hardisty, Forestburg and Sedgewick) meeting the USO and a fifth (Killam) partially served, according to the data.
Flagstaff County is currently working with Taylor Warwick Consulting Ltd., to further investigate partnering with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to develop an integrated hybrid fibre-wireless network that will supply higher internet speeds to our residents.
This will utilize the remaining previously approved broadband funding to be carried over to 2021.
On July 17, 2019, Council approved resolution # FC20190717.1011 that Flagstaff County Council confirm their participation in Phases I and II of the Regional Broadband Project with an increased requisition of the total $42,000 project cost, due to partial participation from member municipalities.
As such, Flagstaff County continued to work with Craig Dobson of Taylor Warwick Consulting Ltd. on exploring options that will enhance access to reliable internet services across the Flagstaff Region.
Since starting the project, Flagstaff County has received funding from the Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee of $25,000, offsetting some of the costs. The budget remaining from the requisition is $29,500.
Craig Dobson presented his findings to Council at their regular meeting on Dec. 16, 2020.
To view the presentation, click HERE.