Editor’s note: The following information comes from former mayor John Hildebrandt and his wife Beth who, like many residents, are concerned about poor internet speeds in the Valley and the need to do something about it.
Covid has exacerbated the problems of internet reach/capacity and speed in major centres and most directly in rural Canada. There has been increased demand on internet connectivity to work or study from home, to run businesses virtually, to access telehealth services and to access information and entertainment to name just a few.
The CRTC has identified a “basic service” for all Canadians to enable an internet connection with access to broadband speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload and access to unlimited data. This will require a significant investment in infrastructure.
Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s (EORN) current $213 million initiative to improve services will be an important step forward, along with funds from the federal and provincial governments and the municipalities.
As property owners, we need to get behind this initiative to ensure that we get the connectivity that we need. An important first step is to document our speeds with https://performance.cira.ca This will clearly show that we are not at the basic speed as recommended by the CRTC.
To do the test, please go to your internet service provider to find what service you pay for (download/upload speeds), your monthly usage cap, and your monthly cost as you will be asked to fill this in. (If you do not have this information, you can still take the test, but this data will help to get a clearer picture of cost in our area as well as service levels.)
You will be asked to enter your postal code. When you enter K0J 1B0, or whatever your postal code is, it will likely take you to a spot on the pop-up map which will not be your exact location. On the pop-up map, press the blue teardrop shape beside the postal code box to move the orange arrow to your exact location. (NB: This is important. If you do not move the marker to your exact location, your results will not be properly logged to Kennisis.)
Fill in the boxes on the side: what service you pay for (download/upload speeds), monthly usage cap, monthly cost, home or business use, satisfaction, comments.
At the top next to “location,” there is a box to enter your “service provider.” Then press the orange “Start” button. It will measure and register your upload/download speed into the database. The whole process should only take a very few minutes.
If you would like to do the test multiple times and provide richer data, please begin by clicking on “Sign In” at the top righthand corner, then “Create Account” which will ask for your email address and a password. You can proceed with the test from there.
When you are ready to start the test, please go to this website:
From John and Beth Hildebrandt
It’s is truly disgusting the prices that my family has to pay for internet in our rural community. I am on the Bell Turbo Hub as that is the only option and my monthly bill is $400. $400 a month for internet!! They take advantage of these communities and charge what they please because there’s no competition so why would they offer competitive rates. It makes me sick that they get away with this and I feel helpless because the only sympathy I get from bell is them saying it’s unfortunate but there’s nothing they can do. Who in 2020 is paying $400 a month for internet? Who is going to address this issue? I’ve contacted my local government which may help but we all know how slow that process goes. We need solutions now and I do not understand why this is still an issue.
Thanks for the link, John. I was associated with the original “Rural Connections” initiative across Renfrew County (2nd round of funding). It did nothing for the eastern side including our immediate area. When I saw Ajax on the listing of funded service improvements I understood how new money was flowing where the existing services were pretty good! Without more competition the deals available will not be changing.
I’m just grateful to have DSL (over copper telephone wire) rather than a cellular service as the latter is just over priced for a useable data quota. EORN took over from Rural Connections and did a good job on infrastructure but the “last mile” as it was then described, is still lacking. I don’t see any prospect of change any time soon, other than a steady rise in charges.
BTW – the test link didn’t work for me on iPad and when I had it working on other kit, it provided a result set much lower than I see when testing at my modem. (6.7Mbps whereas I regularly record 10Mbps.
Starlink from SpaceX might be available soon, which could make a huge difference. Early tests of the system report high download and upload speeds and low latencies. http://www.starlink.com/