Part 1: BAIMAP Introduction
Blue Sky Net along with project partners has developed a sophisticated analysis tool that has mapped all broadband coverage in Northern Ontario.
Through participation from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) a comprehensive database of coverage areas and gaps has been created. Population and dwelling statistics were also superimposed on these coverage maps in order to determine the number of households, farms, businesses, cottages that were impacted by a lack of sustainable access to broadband.
All of this data was divided into over 18,000 smaller neighbourhood clusters in order to more closely see blocks of un-served and undeserved individuals.
Part 2: BAIMAP Spatial Coverage
One of the first steps we undertook for the Broadband and Associated Infrastructure Mapping and Analysis Project was to reach out to area Internet Service Providers and request mapping of their service areas.
We also requested ISPs provide details about the capacity and speed of their networks. All 27 ISPs that own and operate networks submitted this information.
With this data in hand we mapped the individual ISP networks and created a number of combination layers. In this video we demonstrate spatial broadband coverage by all fixed internet operators separated by networks capable of delivering better than 5Mbps download and less than 5Mbps download.
Part 3: BAIMAP Property Parcel Analysis
Now that we have the spatial coverage files representing fixed broadband access throughout all of Northern Ontario, the next challenge was to bring in base map data to quantify the impact of any service gaps.
In order to do this, Blue Sky Net acquired a license for every property parcel under the Assessment Act in Northern Ontario. The digital parcel gives us the physical property outlines, address, property type and unique ID number for each property.
The power of a GIS is its ability to correlate multiple spatial data sets. In this instance, we were able to use the spatial coverage to determine which properties have access to the three categories of fixed broadband: 1) No Access, 2) access to high speed that delivers a connection less than 5Mbps and 3) access to high speed that can deliver a better than 5Mbps service.
Blue Sky Net has made this information available at https://www.connectednorth.ca/ under the availability tracker. Also, we are able to summarize connectivity in larger geographic areas like towns/municipalities, electoral districts or even less defined units found in unorganized townships.
Part 4: BAIMAP Merging Parcel with Hexagon Analysis
From the beginning a guiding principal for BAIMAP was for us to ensure that coverage data and analysis data could be shared with stakeholders where appropriate. A large stakeholder with respect to subsidizing or funding broadband infrastructure is the Federal Government. FedNor, the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern and Rural Ontario, has funded BAIMAP 100% since it’s inception.
Most Federal broadband support programs have used a version of “Hexagon Maps” to indicate areas that are eligible (or not) for funding. Often, these hexagons also provide population and household information for the area taken from the most recent Census data.
In this video, we describe the process where the very detailed BAIMAP parcel analysis can be “joined” to the hexagon map data.
More on FedNor here: https://fednor.gc.ca/eic/site/fednor-fednor.nsf/Intro
Examples of Hexagon Maps: https://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/internetcanada.htm