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. Addressing broadband challenges is a key action item under the County's 2019 Digital Strategy

Innovative approach to deliver high-speed internet across Northumberland

The federal and provincial governments have announced $45 million in joint funding towards an innovative new initiative to deliver high-speed internet access to all households and businesses across Northumberland by the end of 2024, in partnership with Northumberland County and private sector partners.

Providing high-speed internet services across Northumberland’s hilly landscape and dispersed population is complex. Northumberland County has developed an innovative approach designed to meet the growing high-speed internet needs of residents, businesses, and public services.

This approach brings together significant public funding and private capital investment to create a utility. This private sector-led utility will design and build a local fibre-to-the-home telecommunications network and then – over time – provide open, wholesale access to this network to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). ISPs will use this network to deliver high-speed internet services to Northumberland residents and businesses. The network will be designed to deliver a minimum internet speed of 1 Gigabit per second (1 Gbps).

Read the full April 29, 2022 announcement

Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) project

On March 8, 2021, Canada's Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) announced the launch of an innovative project to bring high-performance broadband access to the Shelter Valley Road region of Alnwick/Haldimand Township. Northumberland County and the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand are pleased to partner with CENGN on this project to test and demonstrate new technology solutions to extend high-speed internet service delivery to unserved and underserved communities.  

What is the CENGN project?

  • Northumberland County and the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand are pleased to partner with CENGN on a project to test and demonstrate new technology solutions to extend high-speed internet service delivery to unserved and underserved communities.
  • Through this project, service provider Algonquin Fiber will make cost effective fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) internet services available to approximately 150 homes in the Shelter Valley Road area of the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand beginning in the summer of 2021.
  • Key learnings from this project will help to define new solutions for high speed connectivity for similar communities in rural Ontario and across the province.

Why is this project focused on rural communities?

  • With the increasing demand for real-time video, voice-over-IP communications, tele-medicine, distance-learning, and home-based on-line businesses, there is an increasing need for broadband internet support to the home infrastructure that can meet these needs. However, the business case for getting broadband internet services into smaller rural communities is very difficult since the population density is very low, and the size of the resident populations is often well below 1000 residents. 
  • The CENGN project seeks to demonstrate technology and/or business case innovation through a cost-effective, high-resilience solution to create a model for providing cost-effective internet services to other unserved or underserved communities across the province.

Why was the Shelter Valley Road area selected for this project?

  • In the fall of 2020, CENGN put out a call to partner with communities to test and demonstrate new technology solutions for extending high performance internet services into rural communities. Specifically, this project would focus on delivering internet services to valley communities – geography that typically represents a barrier to internet service delivery.
  • The project would test new technology in a small area in order to develop a scalable model for providing cost-effective internet services to other valley communities across the province.
  • Northumberland County partnered with Alnwick/Haldimand to advance the Shelter Valley Road area for this project, as an area meeting the necessary specifications. 

What does ‘high performance’ internet services mean?

 A requirement of this project is for the service provider to deliver lower-cost, higher performance residential broadband technology to rural areas. The solution must meet or exceed the capacity to provide 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload performance per residence – the minimum standard set by the CRTC. 

Who is the service provider for this project?

Internet Service Provider Algonquin Fiber was selected through the CENGN ‘Request for Solution’ process to be the service provider for this project. 

What is the specific area covered by this project?

  •  Supported by CENGN program funding, Algonquin Fibre will install over 16km of fibre along:
    • Shelter Valley Road
    • Vernonville Road, and
    • East along Dudley Road to Purdy Corners.
  • Approximately 150 homes will have access to cost-effective fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services.  

When will this service be available?

 Service rollout will start in the summer of 2021, with full service beginning in the fall of 2021.

How can I sign up to access this service?

Algonquin Fibre will reach out to each eligible home with subscription information in the coming months. 

How is this project being funded?

CENGN will invest up to $500,000, to be matched by the service provider, representing an up to $1 million-dollar investment in the community.

Government and Non-profit-led investments

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.  

Find an internet provider for your home or business

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