A municipality and its residents cannot fully embrace a technology-enabled circular economy without first having access to high-speed, reliable internet access. Rural broadband in Canada has historically been underserviced, with many homes and businesses lacking the connectivity necessary to integrate technology into their everyday activities.
The Smart Cities Office worked to bring clarity and cross-departmental collaboration to the often-confusing landscape of internet access.
The Connectivity Guidebook for Rural Ontario: Connecting Agriculture, Business and Technology was created as a digital literacy resource for residents to understand more about their connectivity options and emerging technological opportunities. This guidebook was distributed free to all rural County of Wellington addresses, offered in digital form on the County’s website, and used by other Ontario municipalities as a template to build on.
In addition, Our Food Future worked with the University of Guelph’s R2B2 Lab to collect up-to-date internet connectivity speed data from residents. By mapping household upload and download speeds, a more accurate map of current service level is formed and can be used to properly prioritize broadband expansion.