PEI

Island companies tasked with providing better, faster internet service

With the CRTC’s ruling this week that broadband internet access is a basic service in Canada, service providers on P.E.I. and elsewhere are now tasked with increasing service and internet speed to customers in rural areas.

CRTC ruled Wednesday that broadband internet access is a basic service in Canada

Internet service providers on P.E.I. are now tasked with providing quality service to rural areas. (CBC)

In the wake of the CRTC's ruling this week that broadband internet access is a basic service in Canada, service providers on P.E.I. and elsewhere are now tasked with increasing service and internet speed to customers in rural areas.

"It's not just about getting the internet to people, it's about getting quality internet to them," said Alesia Napier, a partner with P.E.I. internet service provicer Wicked EH? "And I think the government's taken a great first step to walking towards those goals."

Napier told CBC's Mainstreet that a challenge to meeting the government's expectations is that some service providers are using costly, dated or limited technology.

Fact finding mission

"One of the things we looked at was the type of delivery systems that are available on the marketplace. And we wanted to make sure that whatever system we designed and built would be ready for 2030 and beyond," she said.

In the fall, the provincial government met with internet service providers, including Wicked EH? Napier said the meetings were similar to a "fact finding mission" to find "deficits" but also to set standards on download speeds and quality. 

Napier said that "time and money" are ultimately what is going to be needed to provide the internet quality and coverage the government wants for Islanders. 

"I think that what the government is looking at is trying to figure out how much money is it going to take to decrease the amount of time it [takes] the [internet service providers] to be able to provide the service more quickly."

With files from Mainstreet

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