Over 5,000 households and 400 businesses in Rural Hamilton flat-out fail to receive the basic standard. The average reported speed in Rural Hamilton is 6 Mbps download, 1.10 Mbps upload, far below the basic national standard of 50 Mbps/10 Mbps.
My wife and I have lived this problem in our own home. With little-to-no options, rural residents take whatever subpar service is available; sometimes even dial-up, but often an expensive mix of cellular, satellite, or other service. Overloaded towers are also a problem. Existing federal and provincial infrastructure programs are helping rural and remote
communities get high-speed internet faster by funding projects in conjunction with internet providers. While 98% of Canadians have the basic standard of internet, that’s mostly in urban and suburban areas. In rural areas, studies have found as many 72% don’t meet the basic standard.
In fact, the provincial government recently published a map to show projects and progress across Ontario. But for almost all of Flamborough and Glanbrook it simply shows “Pending Project.” This compares to multi-millions of dollars in federal and provincial funding in Southwestern Ontario and Niagara over the past few years – particularly through SWIFT.
Meanwhile, Flamborough and Glanbrook have only had $120,700 announced for just 201 households in July 2021 according to an Order Paper Question I asked the federal government recently as we tried to get to the bottom of this.
Could it be that as part of the 10th largest city in Canada (Hamilton), there’s a false impression Rural Hamilton meets the standard? Is it because we’re not part of SWIFT? Considering that the provincial government has finalized agreements for
$2.2 Billion for nearly 200 projects, yet Rural Hamilton’s share has so far been a tiny fraction is cause for concern.
I’ve raised this issue at the federal Infrastructure Committee and in the House of Commons. I’m seeking support from provincial and federal officials and Ministers to help ensure Rural Hamilton gets our fair share of the already-budgeted funds, such as the Ontario Federal Broadband Partnership and the Universal Broadband Fund. I’m also collaborating with City Councillors, the Mayor and MPPs as we all educate and advocate for you.
We need your voice to help increase awareness and make this a higher priority for federal and provincial officials. If you live in rural Flamborough or
Glanbrook, watch for an informational mailing from my office in the coming weeks
with a petition card. Or contact my office below and we can rush one out to you.