- Our objective is to provide every household in our service delivery region with an economical connection of at least 5 Mbps download.
- Low density population is the main reason providers are unwilling to invest in infrastructure improvements.
- Parity between urban and rural internet access is likely not realistic.
- Private sector must be the ones to build and operate high speed networks.
- First step is to identify and quantify demand for service.
- Outside funding is needed to offset low return on investment.
For our purposes we define Broadband as a high capacity connection to the Internet that supports video, voice, and large/complex graphics. Typically, broadband capacity is over 1 Megabit/second but you will find no standard benchmark of this. Since we first started facilitating the building of broadband networks, that capacity and need for speed has increased several times over. With the advent of social media and at home entertainment, it is no longer just a question of having broadband, but having broadband at a capacity to accommodate the growing techno market. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) set a target in 2011, that all Canadians have access to broadband speeds of at least 5 Megabits/second (Mbps) for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads.
One of Blue Sky Net’s main goals is to bring affordable broadband to areas with limited or no access. Typically, urban areas throughout North America are well served with Fibre, DSL and Cable Modem service. By contrast, rural areas not only have slower speeds but also higher prices for these services. Simply put, building out a network in low-density areas costs more per subscriber versus urban areas, where a single apartment building can house hundreds of potential users as an example.
On a per capita basis, Canada ranks pretty high in the developed world in broadband penetration rates. However, there are many pockets of the country that remain a challenge in delivering these services. Unfortunately, Northern Ontario (especially the rural parts) is one of those pockets, but things are improving! Northern Ontario has a relatively low population density and a pretty rugged environment. These are the two main contributing factors as to why you may not have high speed at home, or at your business.
Although it is unlikely that there will be complete parity between urban and rural broadband service, Blue Sky Net has a strategy to make it more equitable.
ICTN (INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY NETWORK) DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
Blue Sky Net believes the connectivity needs of under/unserved communities are best addressed by the private sector. What is required is the investment of additional capital to improve the business case for lightly populated areas. This could be regarded as incentive for the private sector to expand/improve service in a given area. Our objective is to create new broadband Points of Presence (PoPs) outside of urban centres. These PoPs certainly aren’t enough to provide service to everyone, but form the basis for economical expansion into further smaller clusters. We see this as the best way of leveraging the finite amount of public funds available to expand service to the largest area possible.
The first step is we identify areas where coverage is insufficient to meet demand for service and determine a cost associated with the expansion of coverage using BAIMAP data. If it is determined that an area lacks service and needs assistance, the next step is to conduct a tendering process for interested parties to propose a technical and a financial solution to overcome service gaps. Thirdly BSN works with the successful bidder in writing funding application(s) to subsidize portions or components of the network’s infrastructure. If funding is acquired, BSN work’s with the proponent to help build or expand a network. The BSN function at this point is to help manage any funding allocation and provide assistance and information.