Internet speed in Houston

Results from TANex test show discrepencies in national data

In 2021, National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map was released, indicating the speed of Internet service for communities in rural and remote areas.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requires that Internet users have an Internet speed of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload, which is indicated as 50/10. The map indicated which areas met that requirement, and which were under.

If an area has slower Internet speed then 50/10, then it is eligible for grant funding to improve service.

According to the initial map,with areas such as Palling and Barrett Lake as well as outskirt streets such as Omineca Way and Mountainview Drive showing speeds below 50/10, while the majority of the populated area showed internet speeds above 50/10.

In Burns Lake the stats were similar, with areas like the south side of Burns Lake, Decker Lake, and some areas on the outskirts of town such as the Richmond Loop and Railway Avenue showed Internet speeds below 50/10, but the main town centre showed above 50/10 speed.

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Following the release of the map, local governments including Burns Lake, and Houston expressed concerns with discrepancies between the reported level of available broadband service speeds indicated in the federal map, and the connectivity levels that community stakeholders report they were experiencing.

As a result, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako participated in a federal broadband Internet service study in 2021 to better understand the factors contributing to the difference between Internet speed data published on the federal government’s map and community experiences in B.C.

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The B.C. government contracted TANEx Engineering to conduct the study to determine the extent of possible discrepancies. That data indicated that 106 locales were identified as having possible discrepancies with the map. The report indicated that there were no discrepancies in Houston, though in Burns Lake there were some identified.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) was contacted to compile a detailed report of each of those locations identified including Burns Lake, to see if these discrepancies are in fact accurate.

Burns Lake CIRA testing indicates that 50/10 results were recorded from only nine unique test locations and six IP addresses. as opposed to the entire town centre. Of the 194 tests completed in the locale, just 14 were at or above 50/10 speed.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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