Rural Internet Access Program
High-speed Internet access is increasingly important in everyday life, whether it’s required for school, business or even entertainment. Strathcona County has recognized that many rural residents within the County have unsatisfactory access to this service.
With its innovative Rural Internet Access Program, the County is enhancing Internet access in hard-to-reach areas by adding local Internet towers to boost signal reach.
Through this three-year program, the County offers incentives to Internet service providers (ISPs) who build smaller Internet towers in areas where there are gaps in service. The new towers - owned and maintained by the ISPs - act as a bridge between households and larger infrastructure towers, bringing high-speed Internet access to areas that are without. Local ISPs work directly with landowners to install towers in areas designated by the County.
Information on this page
- Information sessions
- Tower locations
- Project timeline
- Partnership with Strathcona County Library
- Frequently asked questions
To find out more about the Rural Internet Access Program and what it could mean for your area, drop by one of the info sessions, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the lobby of the Strathcona Olympiette Centre.
- Tuesday, May 24
- Thursday, May 26
- Monday, May 30
- Wednesday, June 1
Strathcona Olympiette Centre: Google maps
(This list will be updated as additional locations are identified.)
Internet tower installs in spring 2016 will service the following rural subdivisions and surrounding areas:
- Mark IV Estates - construction started third week of May
- Wildwood Village - tower installed and operational
- Wye Knott Village - tower installed and operational
Construction start (third week of May) of a tower adjacent to Range Road 223 will service:
- Jaymoor Estates
- Lueders Ridge
- McConnell Estates
- Richlyn Estates
Tower construction will start at the Half Moon Lake truck fill location to service:
- Colonial Estates
- Royal Estates
New Internet tower installs are planned for summer 2016 to service the following rural subdivisions and surrounding areas:
- Antler Meadows
- Antler Lake Community Hall
- Belvedere Heights East
- Belvedere Heights West
- Brecken Woods
- Bristol Estates
- Casswellan Crescent Acres
- Century Estates
- Century Meadows
- Donaldson Park
- Forest Hills Country Estates
- Galloway Park
- Glenwood Park Estates
- Hyland Hills – application submitted – pending approval
- Lina Country Estates
- Los Villas
- Meadowbrook Heights
- North Cooking Lake / Deville Community Hall
- Parklane Estates
- Parkwood Place
- Paso Valley Estates
- Patricia Glen
- Queensdale Place (North)
- Queensdale Place (South)
- Roman Estates – application submitted – pending approval
- Trans Oak Estates
- Verden Place
- Wellington Estates
- Williams Park
- Willow Road
- Woodland Downs
Planned and approved upgrades and enhancements to existing nearby towers will extend service to the following areas:
- Artesian Estates
- Calebo Estates
- Dowling Estates
- Parker Ridge
- Pine Grove Acres
- Sierra Grande Estates
- Springhill Park
- Spruce Bend Acres
- Voyageur Estates
- Program research, plan and design
- County works with local ISPs, and gathers feedback from residents, to identify areas where Internet access is unsatisfactory
- Open house sessions throughout rural Strathcona County to share information about the program, and gather feedback from residents
- Installation of Internet towers, on a priority basis, throughout rural Strathcona County; approximately 100 towers expected to be installed by end of 2017
The County has partnered with Strathcona County Library to install Internet towers at rural community halls where Internet access is unsatisfactory. This is made possible through the Library’s Bookmobile sponsor, Shell Canada Ltd. Thanks to this initiative, visitors will be able to enjoy unlimited free Internet access at these facilities.
Bookmobile Library patrons will gain access to the Library’s entire suite of digital content and programming (such as eBooks, and downloadable music and movies), and be able to log into their accounts in real-time.
Frequently asked questions
Please contact Program Coordinator Kathi Day by phone 780-464-8024 or email email@example.com and your information will be provided to the designated Internet service provider (ISP). Note that the contract is only possible between the ISP and the legal landowner.
The County recognizes there are significant up-front costs for Internet service providers (ISPs) to install new towers in order to provide Internet service in hard-to-reach rural areas where population is not as dense as in urban settings. By partnering with ISPs, the County is able to identify those rural areas with unsatisfactory Internet access. Incentives provided to ISPs through the Rural Internet Access Program encourage local service providers to enhance and expand their Internet service in rural areas where it is needed most.
Unfortunately, geographical features such as hilly and treed terrain may prevent a wireless signal from reaching your home. If you have confirmed with local Internet service providers (ISPs) that they are unable to provide Internet access to your home, you may want to consider other options such as installing an antenna or a small tower on your property, or going with a cellular data plan or satellite connection.
The County aims to limit the number of total new Internet towers needed by encouraging the expansion of existing networks. It is very likely that the Internet service provider (ISP) installing a tower near your home is the same provider that you currently use. There are four ISPs operating in rural Strathcona County, with limited overlap in their service territories. In the case that your current ISP is different, there is no obligation to switch to another provider.
The County and Internet service providers (ISPs) are required to follow due process prior to the installation of a new tower. This includes notifying affected residents before proceeding, and addressing any issues and concerns. You can also contact Strathcona County by phone 780-464-8024 or email "firstname.lastname@example.org":mailto:email@example.com
Local Internet towers are significantly smaller in size than the existing infrastructure towers. The towers are unsupported (not anchored by guy-wires). With a height range of 80 to 120 feet, they generally stand just above the tree line.
The County is working closely with local Internet service providers to address the needs of the highest number of rural residents, as quickly as possible. ISPs work directly with landowners to install new towers in areas designated by the County. Residents will receive a notice in the mail letting them know if there are plans for a new tower in their area or subdivision. Visit the Rural Internet Access Program web page for updates on the status of planned tower locations, or call 780-464-8024.
Rural Internet Access Program
Information Technology Services