At the upcoming Council meeting on March 21 the Broadband Working Group will be reporting on its findings on high-speed internet in Mississippi Mills. Your presence at this meeting will convey a strong message “high-speed internet matters to you”.

Robert Cretien

The Broadband Working Group was formed to assess current internet service in MM and to develop a multi year plan based on the needs of residents, business and local government. Its members are concerned residents of Mississippi Mills and it reports to the Community and Economic Development Committee.

Broadband is an important issue for rural Canadians, including Mississippi Mills.  Connectivity is now as important as roads and bridges to the sustainability of rural communities, and to the success of rural institutions and organizations. The ‘broadband gap’ remains a reality throughout Rural Canada. There is overwhelming evidence that the lack of reliable and affordable high speed internet services affects the tax base and economic development of a community.

The CRTC has recommended minimum speeds of 50 Mbps down/10 Mbps up (50/10)  to participate in the global digital economy. The CRTC has declared that high speed internet is a “basic telecommunications service for all Canadians”.   It further recommends that we all should have “unlimited data plans as well as access to the latest mobile technology not only in homes and businesses, but on major roads”.  At this time, 1% of Mississippi Mills residents have access to this level of service, with no current plan to meet the CRTC standard.

The Broadband Working Group conducted an open survey of MM residents and received 800 responses. The data shows that  61.4% MM receive less than 5 Mbps which is the lowest speed tier as defined by the CRTC. To put this number in perspective, the CRTC reports that in 2015, 82% of Canadians have access to 50-100 Mbps speed tier.

Depending on location, a large number of urban residents reported download speeds of less than 5 Mbps which is marginally better than rural areas.  Small population centers and rural residents in MM receive service levels 90% below the service levels of some Almonte residents but at the same monthly cost.  The survey data highlights a rural/urban divide in both pricing and level of service.

Show your support – see you at the council meeting on Tuesday March 21at 6 PM.  For more information mississippimillsbroadband@gmail.com.