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Sep 2018 | The Future of Public Service Delivery

STRATHCONA COUNTY’S APPROACH TO IMPROVING INTERNET ACCESS TO RURAL RESIDENTS
KATHI DAY, STRATHCONA COUNTY

During the 2013 municipal election campaign, rural candidates were inundated with comments about internet access (or lack thereof) in Strathcona County. It came as no surprise when the new Council made internet access a priority. It was determined through an informal study in 2014 that while 76 percent of all Albertans had Internet at home, only 35 percent of Strathcona County’s approximately 35,000 rural residents had Internet at home. Even more, approximately 40 percent of Strathcona rural residents wanted Internet, but did not have access to it. Of the 210 county residential subdivisions, only 58 of them were considered fully serviced (by Shaw or Telus). Both Shaw and Telus advised the city that they had no foreseeable plans to expand their services. This left the County with quite the challenge.

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