Why don't rural residents have access to reliable high-speed internet?

    Access to broadband internet is an issue for rural residents across Ontario and Canada. Clarington is mainly serviced by Canada’s two largest service providers, Bell and Rogers. However, there are other smaller companies offering more localized, individual options to interested customers. There are several high-speed transmission technologies available including a digital subscriber line, also known as DSL phone line; cable mode; fibre optic, this offers the highest speed and comes with a large price tag; wireless or fixed wireless, this includes bouncing signals from small towers; and satellite or broadband that involves a signal running over power lines. The cost of laying fibre optic line is between $80 and $90 per metre. To connect homes, farms and properties in rural areas, you need to run lines over large distances increasing the cost per kilometre substantially as compared to high-density urban developments. Given the substantial upfront investment required and small potential customer base, currently, internet service providers are not making significant investments in the rural areas. Both the Municipality of Clarington and the Region of Durham are trying to encourage this investment.

    Rural residents want access to natural gas. Why isn’t this widely available?

    It all comes down to cost. According to preliminary estimates provided by a major utility, the capital cost of extending gas lines to small hamlets are large. For example the estimated cost for extending gas lines to Enniskillen is $4.3 million, while extending lines to Haydon would cost around $3.8 million. These estimates are based on the assumption that at least 75 per cent of local residents would want to convert from hydroelectricity to natural gas. In Enniskillen, that means 150 residents would convert, while in Haydon just 75 residents would convert. It is not feasible for utility companies to offer natural gas expansion into rural areas due to the high cost and low population.

    Why is there an increase in traffic volumes in rural areas?

    As the Province of Ontario continues to work on extending Highway 407 to Highway 35/115 and building Highway 418 to connect Highway 401 to Highway 407, there are many road closures involved in the area to build the infrastructure that will push commuters into hamlets along the way. Residents in Enniskillen, Hampton, Haydon, Tyrone and further east will see increased traffic volumes. The corresponding road detours will also make certain roads more congested. Please see the upcoming road closures for more details of areas that will be affected.

    What will the Municipality do with the feedback provided by residents?

    Clarington is constantly monitoring this platform. We will answer residents’ questions in a timely way, as soon as we obtain the necessary information. At the end of the consultation period, we will group the responses into issues and will consult with the necessary Departments and Council on further action. Some issues involve other jurisdictions, including the Region of Durham, and we will forward to the appropriate authorities.

    Please note: if you have an immediate concern or issue that needs to be dealt with, please use the Report a Problem form so that we can assist.