BROADBAND & ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE MAPPING ANALYSIS PROJECT
Blue Sky Net has completed a project, funded by FedNor, which updated records relating to the availability of high speed internet across all of Northern Ontario. It has been a universal understanding for some time that access to high speed internet is essential for advancing our economy, quality of life and the sustainability of our communities.
So why are there areas in Northern Ontario where high speed internet is not yet available to all of our population? In spite of the recognition of the need for high speed internet access, and the efforts of the private sector, ICTN’s and provincial and federal funding programs, some areas remain un-served while others do not have the bandwidth capacity essential to serve the community needs. Due to low population density, and environmental and geographic factors, private sector service providers have difficulty justifying the large investment necessary to extend basic service and increase the bandwidth capacity of their existing networks.
The project known as Broadband and Associated Infrastructure Analysis Project (BAIMAP) has identified these gaps in existing service areas, the bandwidths available in serviced areas and also clusters of demand for the service in these under and un-served areas. This has been done by mapping and analysing the existing bandwidth capacity or gaps in all areas, and by mapping demand based on population data and ‘self-identified’ customers on a Geographic Information System (GIS).
The information collected has been and continues to be used to identify the business case to improve access to high speed Internet. This business case may involve outside funding from government programs. It may also be found that there are several areas or gaps that are viable enough for service providers to extend service without additional investment. Without such a tool being developed, it would be extremely difficult to perform this analysis.