The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) wants to know who’s connected and who is not.
TBM has set its sights on ensuring every resident in the municipality has a solid internet connection. But first, the town’s dedicated task force is looking for more information on the kind of service residents are currently receiving.
“By all means get your broadband tested. That is a big help to us,” said TBM Deputy Mayor and chair of the Rural Access to Broadband Internet Technology (RABIT) task force, Rob Potter.
The town is asking residents to perform a CIRA Internet Performance Test in order to better understand current services.
As each user performs a CIRA test, their data is anonymously collected and aggregated into a large dataset that spans all of Canada. This data provides the ability to compare connection speeds with other people in the neighbourhood, city or across the country.
“The more often you go on and the more places the test is conducted, the better information we have to go to government bodies when we're looking for funding. As well as when we go to companies and say 'here's what the need is,'” Potter said.
TBM recently held a public information centre, which invited interested service providers to present possible broadband options to the municipality.
“We had very good interest from local internet providers. I think we had nine out,” said TBM Mayor, Alar Soever. “Unfortunately, the larger, more regional service providers did not show up, neither did SWIFT. But, we certainly have a lot of enthusiasm from our local service providers.”
Soever added that the RABIT task force currently has a lot of momentum and continues to push forward with the goal to better connect all TBM residents.
“Our plan is for fibre optic cable as the preferred choice to every house in the Blue Mountains – every house on every side road and every concession,” said Potter. “There may be areas where we have to jump gaps with other means. We're open to whatever will succeed.”
Additional information on the task force and the CIRA test can be found on the town’s dedicated RABIT webpage.