Rural Internet Access Program
Take the high-speed test
To ensure gaps in internet service all across Strathcona County are recognized, residents and businesses are encouraged to complete an online internet speed test administered by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), a non-profit organization that develops and implements policies that support Canada’s internet community.
For the most accurate results, a desktop or a laptop is the preferable test device and ideally it should be connected directly to your modem using a cable. Do multiple tests at different times of the day and on different days of the week, and be sure to run some during peak times (7pm to 11pm).
Shut down all programs on your device except the test. Running other applications or devices while executing tests will negatively affect test results. Only the person doing the test should be using the internet, so ask others to stop using the internet and/or streaming while running the test (it only takes about a minute!).
The data is anonymously collected and aggregated into a dataset, allowing us to better understand the “real” internet service speeds that our residents are experiencing. Individuals can compare their connection speed with those of other participants.
High-speed internet access is increasingly important in everyday life, whether it’s required for school, business or even entertainment. Strathcona County recognized that many rural residents within the County had unsatisfactory access to this basic service.
With its innovative Rural Internet Access Program, the County enhanced internet access in hard-to-reach areas by adding 22 new local internet towers, and upgrading many more, to boost signal reach.
Through this three-year program, the County offered incentives to internet service providers (ISPs) to install smaller internet towers in areas where there were 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 worked directly with landowners to install towers in areas designated by the County.
Information on this page
- Tower locations
- Project timeline
- Partnership with Strathcona County Library
- Frequently asked questions
Thanks to the Rural Internet Access Program, internet towers have been installed and are operational, providing service to the following rural subdivisions and surrounding areas:
- Antler Lake Community Hall - MCSNet
- Antler Meadows - Syban
- Belvedere Heights East - MCSNet
- Belvedere Heights West - MCSNet
- Best Estates - MCSNet
- Birch Park Estates - MCSNet
- Brecken Woods - MCSNet
- Bristol Estates - Syban
- Camelot Square - MCSNet
- Casswallen Crescent Acres - MCSNet
- Century Estates - Syban
- Century Meadows - Syban
- Colchester Lane - MCSNet
- Collingwood Cove - MCSNet
- Colonial - MCSNet
- Donaldson Park - MCSNet
- Farrell Properties - Syban
- Forest Hills Country Estates - MCSNet
- Galloway Park - MCSNet
- Glenwood Park Estates - MCSNet
- Hansen Estates - MCSNet
- Hyland Hills – Syban
- Jaymoor - Syban
- Lina Country Estates - MCSNet
- Los Villas – Syban
- Lueders Ridge - Syban
- Lynley Ridge - MCSNet
- Mark IV Estates - Syban
- Marvin Gardens - MCSNet
- McConnell Estates - Syban
- Meadowbrook Heights - MCSNet
- North Cooking Lake / Deville Community Hall - MCSNet
- Parklane Estates - MCSNet
- Paso Valley Estates - MSCNet
- Patricia Glen - Syban
- Phoa Subdivision - MCSNet
- Portas Gardens - MSCNet
- Queensdale Place (North and South) - Syban
- Richlyn Estates - Syban
- Roman Estates – Syban
- Royal Estates - MCSNet
- Shady Lanes - MCSNet
- Trans Oak Estates - MCSNet
- Trevethick Park - MCSNet
- Twin Island Park – Syban
- Verden Place - Syban
- Wellington Estates - MCSNet
- Wildwood Village - MCSNet
- Willow Road - MCSNet
- Woodland Downs - MCSNet
- Wye Knott Village - MCSNet
Equipment upgrades and improvements to existing towers have enhanced internet service, as well as extended service to additional residents, in the following areas:
- Artesian Estates - MCSNet
- Baronwood - Syban
- Calebo Estates - MCSNet
- Croftland Subdivision - MCSNet
- Deer Horn Estates - MCSNet
- Dowling Estates - MCSNet
- Gray Drive - MCSNet
- Gunmanor Estates - MCSNet
- Marler Subdivision - MCSNet
- Parker Ridge - MCSNet
- Parkwood Place - MCSNet
- Partridge Hill area - MCSNet
- Pine Grove Acres - MCSNet
- Sierra Grande Estates - MCSNet
- Springhill Park - MCSNet
- Spruce Bend Acres - MCSNet
- Tanglewood - Syban
- Voyageur Estates - MCSNet
- Westpark Estates - MCSNet
- Program research, plan and design
- County works with local ISPs, and gathers feedback from residents, to identify areas where internet access is unsatisfactory
- Information 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; all towers are expected to be installed by end of 2017
- Complete free public access installations at Community Halls
- Develop program sustainment plan
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.
View the status of community halls to see where free wi-fi access is currently available, or in progress:
Frequently asked questions
1. Who do I contact for internet service in my area?Permanent link to Who do I contact for internet service in my area?
Please contact the Internet service provider (ISP) directly to find out what plans and packages they offer. To determine which ISP is closest to your area, refer to the Internet Tower Location Map (PDF) at the top of this page.
ISP contact info:
2. Why did the County provide financial incentives to internet service providers?Permanent link to Why did the County provide financial incentives to internet service providers?
The County recognized 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 was able to identify those rural areas with unsatisfactory internet access. Incentives provided to ISPs through the Rural Internet Access Program encouraged local service providers to enhance and expand their internet service in rural areas where it was needed most.
3. There is a tower near my home but I still can’t get reliable high-speed internet. What can I do?Permanent link to There is a tower near my home but I still can’t get reliable high-speed internet. What can I do?
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. There are also additional service providers operating in Strathcona County that may be able to offer service to you:
Where are the new towers located?
The tower locations are identified on this map.
Rural Internet Access Program
Information Technology Services