Broadband in Northumberland

High-speed internet connectivity (broadband) is a linchpin to local economic recovery from COVID-19 and to fostering a thriving and inclusive community. In Northumberland County, as with many rural communities, gaps in high-speed availability and capacity remain due to complex infrastructure requirements. This issue is a priority for Northumberland County and the seven lower-tier area municipalities, and was also identified as a priority through the industry-led COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force recommendations.

The County and lower-tier municipalities are working with federal and provincial government partners and Internet Service Providers to identify solutions to improve connectivity in our community. Addressing broadband challenges is a key action item under the County's 2019 Digital Strategy

Internet services

In Canada, the federal government regulates and oversees telecommunications companies and the sector, with internet services provided by private sector businesses. Internet Service Providers invest in building the necessary infrastructure to enable connectivity, and then recover their costs over time through fees paid by their customers. In more rural areas, where there is a low density of potential customers to cover the costs of infrastructure investments, there are currently gaps in service availability. 

Government investments

Ensuring universal access to broadband is a priority for all levels of government.

  • Federal: the Government of Canada has several programs supporting high-speed Internet access for all Canadians, especially in rural and remote communities. The government's goal is to connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026, an increase from the previous commitment of 95% of Canadians in Canada's Connectivity Strategy, and all Canadians by 2030.
  • Provincial: The Province's Broadband and Cellular Action Plan has committed $315 million of investments that have the potential, with partner funding from private sector and other levels of government, to result in up to $1 billion in broadband infrastructure investments. The province will continue to invest in broadband and cellular initiatives as a funding partner while working closely with the federal government, as the regulator. 
  • Regional: In Eastern Ontario, significant federal, provincial and municipal investments through Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) initiatives have resulted in increased connectivity in the region. EORN is a non-profit organization, created by the Eastern Ontario Warden's Caucus, that is dedicated to improving rural connectivity. EORN is currently spearheading the Cellular Network Gap and Mobile Broadband Improvement Project to expand cell service and cell data coverage across the region in collaboration with government and private sector partners, including capacity to support the use of typical smartphone apps and streaming video. EORN has also made a formal submission to the federal and provincial governments seeking support to deliver ultra-fast Gig internet to homes and businesses across the region. These projects are top advocacy priorities for the EOWC. 

Northumberland Broadband Strategy

Recognizing that broadband connectivity in Northumberland remains a challenge, Northumberland County is in the process of finalizing a Broadband Strategy that will identify roles it can take, as a public sector organization, to more directly support both community-based and business-based broadband improvements in our municipalities. This includes forming partnerships with private sector entities and pursuing government funding opportunities in 2021 to build infrastructure and services that will expand high-speed internet access in underserved and unserved areas of the county.

In 2020, Northumberland County also supported several funding proposals submitted by Internet Service Providers to other levels of government to build infrastructure and enhance service in different areas of the community (specifics of these applications are not yet available to the public while in the application stage).

Updates on progress in these areas will be shared before the end of 2021.   

Take our internet speed test

Northumberland County is gathering data about the state of local internet access, as we continue to look for opportunities to improve local broadband. Help us get accurate internet speed data by taking the internet speed test linked below. 

 Information you will need to complete the speed test
  • A valid email address for follow-up purposes if confirmation of speed test results are required — under no circumstances will your email address be used for marketing or solicitation purposes
  • Your postal code and the civic number of your address to pinpoint the location of your service
  • The download and upload speeds as promised by your internet service provider, as well as the name of the service provider
 How this information will be used

 This information will be used to:

  • Assist interested internet service providers as they plan deployments in Northumberland
  • Inform Northumberland County as we aim to address unserved or underserved areas
 When to complete the speed test
Please complete the speed test at each of the three different times listed below:
  • Once between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Once between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Once between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Thank you for participating in this data gathering exercise.

Begin Test

Find an internet provider for your home or business

To see which internet service providers may be available in your area, please enter your address in the National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.