Internet access today
High-speed internet access is essential in everyday life, whether it’s required for work, education, business or everyday life.
Access to reliable high-speed internet continues to be inadequate for residents and businesses across the County. Many parts of the County do not meet the new high-speed internet requirements established in the CRTC broadband coverage guidelines.
A strong need remains for improved broadband (higher speed internet) quality of service, specifically throughout the rural area, as well as within much of our commercial and industrial areas, both existing and new. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that quality high-speed internet service is available to everyone, everywhere throughout Strathcona County.
Broadband Survey results
In 2020, Strathcona County surveyed residents and businesses asking for input to help us better understand the current state of high-speed internet services throughout the community, and identify potential solutions to improve broadband services.
Overview of survey results:
- The vast majority of residents and businesses see broadband internet as critically important.
- The vast majority of residents and businesses, both urban and rural, are not satisfied with the speed of their services, or with the cost of the services they receive.
- Almost all residents and businesses want to see Strathcona County actively involved in improving internet services.
View the survey reports:
Strathcona County Council approved the Community Broadband project to explore, validate and implement recommendations for rural and commercial/industrial service areas defined in the broadband strategy report.
The options being explored will primarily address high-speed internet needs for two areas:
- Selection of business partner(s) through RFP
- Bylaw and policy development
- Explore grant opportunities
- Determine which option(s) or actions the County will adopt to achieve its goal of improving high-speed internet access, specific to the rural area and commercial/industrial areas.
- Seek Council approval for funding to proceed with proposed broadband service initiative actions for 2022.
2015-2018: Strathcona County Rural Internet Access Program increases high-speed internet access in rural areas, with the County partnering with internet service providers (ISPs) to install and/or upgrade internet towers.
2019-2020: An Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) report outlines the importance of broadband in the greater Edmonton region.
Internet tower locations
See the list of rural internet tower locations and internet service providers offering service to rural Strathcona County.
Find a free wi-fi connection
Free high-speed internet access is available at all community halls in the County.
High-speed internet test
Take the high-speed test
All residents are invited to take the high-speed internet test, and to take it at different times of day. It’s easy to do from your home device and it only takes a few minutes! The test provides valuable data to show where the real-time issues are when it comes to accessing quality high-speed internet in Strathcona County. You can compare your results with your neighbours and see how internet speeds are not the same for everyone.
The test is administered by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), a non-profit organization that develops and implements policies that support Canada’s internet community. The data is collected and aggregated into a dataset.
Internet frequently asked questions
1. Who currently owns, maintains and upgrades internet infrastructure located in Strathcona County?Permanent link to Who currently owns, maintains and upgrades internet infrastructure located in Strathcona County?
Each internet service provider (ISP) currently operating in the County is a private organization and is solely responsible for maintaining and upgrading their infrastructure, and for their service levels. At this time, Strathcona County’s role is for permitting related to internet infrastructure.
2. Why is the urban residential area not in scope for the Broadband Services initiative?Permanent link to Why is the urban residential area not in scope for the Broadband Services initiative?
Most urban services (within Sherwood Park and Ardrossan) are offered to residents with a capability to exceed the 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload speeds mandated by the CRTC. While residents do have affinity toward one provider or another, generally the services are there if they choose to leverage them.
I am concerned about 5G technology.
While we appreciate there are many opinions on the effects of wireless technology, like all other Canadian municipalities, Strathcona County does not have a role in defining the appropriateness of 5G technology or how it may be used. This is regulated by the two governing bodies that oversee wireless devices and associated infrastructure in Canada: Industry Canada (ISED) and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). All service providers who choose to implement 5G technology must comply with the quality and safety standards set by the Government of Canada.