Rural Internet Access Program

Rural internet road with transmission tower

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

Map of internet tower locations (2.6 MB)

Tower locations

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

Back to top

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

Back to top

Project timeline

2015

  • Program research, plan and design
  • County works with local ISPs, and gathers feedback from residents, to identify areas where internet access is unsatisfactory

2016-2017

  • 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

2018

  • Complete free public access installations at Community Halls
  • Develop program sustainment plan

Back to top

Partnership with Strathcona County Library

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:

Community Hall Wi-Fi Rollout Schedule (85.2 KB)

Back to top

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Kathi Day
Program Coordinator
Rural Internet Access Program
Information Technology Services

Cell: 587-334-0950
Email: ruralinternet@strathcona.ca

Related topics

Last updated: Monday, August 24, 2020
Page ID: 37757