Why is connectivity important?

    The outcomes of increased connectivity for the region are wide-ranging and may include:

    • Increased access to remote health care and online educational opportunities
    • Improved public safety through robust early-warning systems and cell phone coverage along key transportation corridors (highways and trails)
    • Increased ability for citizens to work remotely and for businesses to offer remote work as an option for their employees
    • Increased ability for businesses in the region to participate in e-commerce activities
    • Improved business retention and attraction
    • And many more!

    What is broadband internet?

    Broadband internet refers to various methods of transmitting high capacities of data across long distances at high speeds. It can be accomplished using various media, including coaxial cables, fibre-optic cables, and radio waves. The fastest, most reliable, and most future-proof of these are fibre-optic cables.

    How much speed do I need?

    0-5 Mbps: 

    • Send emails
    • Search the Internet
    • Stream HD on a single device

    5-40 Mbps:

    • Run 1-2 smart devices
    • Play online games
    • Stream HD on 2 devices

    40-100 Mbps:

    • Stream in 4K
    • Play online with multiple players
    • Download large files quickly (500MB-2BG)
    • Run 3-5 smart devices

    100-500 Mbps:

    • Stream in 4K on 5 devices
    • HD video conferencing
    • Download large files quickly (2-30 GB)
    • Run 5+ smart devices

    500-1000 Mbps:

    • Stream in 4k on 10+ devices
    • 4K video conferencing for multiple users
    • Download and upload at top speeds
    • Run 10+ smart devices

    What technologies are used to deliver internet connectivity?

    Depending on geographic obstacles, proximity to broadband infrastructure, funding and grants available, and pricing options offered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), internet connectivity may be delivered through either fibre-optic cable, wireless towers, or a combination of both.

    What is fibre-optic?

    Fibre-optic converts electrical signals to light which is then transmitted through bundles of fibre-optic strands wrapped in a reflective case. The speed at which fibre transmits data is significantly greater than other technologies such as cable or DSL, but requires the installation of fibre infrastructure, which has a significant upfront investment because it requires the provision of fibre-optic cable to each building.

    What about connectivity through Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites?

    Satellite technology is an effective method of serving areas with low-population density, or that are hard to reach. LEO satellites are smaller and cheaper to manufacture than other satellites, and orbit closer to earth in multiple orbital planes, so they provide better coverage and lower latency services. 

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    Will fibre-optic networks become obsolete due to Starlink and similar satellite systems?

    Fibre-optic broadband infrastructure will not become obsolete due to the reliability and diversity of offerings that fibre-optic provides. Furthermore, the fibre-optics network has the potential to support Starlink’s system of low-orbiting satellites as part of a larger broadband solutions. Satellite-based based services could provide the internet connectivity needed for residents in the most remote areas of the District where fibre-optic infrastructure proves to be cost-prohibitive.

    What is spectrum?

    Spectrum is a core component of wireless telecommunications. The wireless devices we use daily – mobile phones, GPS navigation systems in our cars, free WiFi at highway rest shops – are delivered through the air via radio frequency spectrum. 

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    What is 5G?

    5G is the latest upcoming technology for delivering cellular connectivity, with faster speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect a massive number of devices.

    Click here to learn more.