Yellowhead County continues to work with industry partners to enhance connectivity in underserved areas of the County.
Yellowhead County, AB (August 19, 2022) – Yellowhead County is currently completing Fibre Optic Construction in the communities of Mountain View, Aspen Heights, Robb, Brule, Carldale, East River Road, Seabolt, Maskuta, and Grandview. This work is expected to be completed by December 2022.
Yellowhead County has begun collecting additional data from other areas in the County to get a better idea of additional underserved areas for reliable internet service.
In 2014, Yellowhead County started work on our municipality’s Rural Communications Strategy. It was part of a multi-year plan to develop and build a Yellowhead County Tower Network System with a goal to enhance connectivity to underserviced areas in the County.
Yellowhead County needed to build a more robust and reliable backbone system network for cell service, broadband internet service, Protective Services communications connectivity, and wildland fire detection.
There are four key parts of the Yellowhead County Tower Network System:
- Internal staff and Protective Services connectivity
- Enhanced cellular service by co-locating ISP providers on County Towers
- Broadband Internet provisions for Yellowhead County residents
- Early-Warning wildland fire detection system
Part of the ongoing Rural Communications plan is for Yellowhead County to find ways to provide broadband services in a cost-effective manner. In December of 2020, the Federal Government created a program under the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) called the Rapid Response Stream. This fund was for shovel-ready projects identified by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) as having inadequate or no coverage.
A section of the western part of Yellowhead County met the ISED requirements and funding limits and the grant application was successful. The project to provide Robb, Brule, Mountain View Estates, Aspen Heights, Seabolt, Grandview, Maskuta, Carldale, and Yellowhead County East River Road with better broadband services is now nearing completion.
2. Next Steps
As residents continue to rely more and more on these services for school, business, safety, and day-to-day living, and with business and industry needing this infrastructure backbone to operate in our more remote areas, Yellowhead County’s Broadband Tower Network System continues to be a vital infrastructure service to our communities and region for continued growth and viability. The goal is to get fibre connections to as many households as possible and create new wireless options where fibre is not an option.
Yellowhead County is now moving forward with finding options for high-speed internet in the communities that are now set up with fibre access. In partnership with Tridon Communications, 3CIS, and ROCK Networks, Yellowhead County is working with service providers who provide high-speed internet access as an option to these communities that have been underserved prior to this initiative.
Yellowhead County has several additional communities that could benefit from better coverage and continues to apply for Federal and Provincial grants that, if funded, will help support the ongoing development of an infrastructure backbone to support the ever-increasing need for high-speed internet and cellular connectivity for Yellowhead County residents, staff, first responders, emergency services, and other protective services such as early wildfire protection, as well as industry and other stakeholders.
At this time, Yellowhead County is planning on looking in new directions to identify additional opportunities for next steps in this initiative. The collection of additional data from other areas in the County has begun, which will provide further understanding of additional underserved areas in need of reliable internet service.
3. Survey Collection
Yellowhead County will be asking residents throughout the County to participate in an online data collection survey to allow for better understanding of areas that are in need of better high-speed internet before any planning for additional opportunities can be considered. At this time, residents of Evansburg and Marlboro are being asked to participate in the survey and help Yellowhead County and their partners further understand the need for high-speed fibre access in those areas.
The survey will help determine whether or not residents currently have internet service, and will collect information on current internet speeds and location details. This data collection will also provide a good snapshot of the potential interest from residents for high-speed internet upgrades.
To complete the survey, go to https://rocknetworks.servicezones.net/yellowheadcounty. There, you can enter your address, complete the short survey, and take the speed test. If your address is not accepted when typing it in, select “Click Here for Help Inputting Your Address” for instructions on entering your address manually.
Participation in the survey will assist Yellowhead County and their partners in moving forward with the enhancement of connectivity in your community.
For more information contact Yellowhead County at 1-800-665-6030.