RMA Issue Backgrounder – Broadband Technology
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This article is the first of a four-part series.
What are the different broadband delivery technologies?
Broadband internet is distributed using both backbone and final mile infrastructure and technology. The backbone network connects communities, typically using fibre. Think of this like Alberta’s highway system that connects communities with few access points. Final mile infrastructure is what connects individual houses and businesses to the internet. This can be thought of as local roads that bring people off the highway and to their houses.
In rural Alberta, broadband is delivered to houses and businesses primarily through four technologies.
Why does it matter?
The different technologies available impact RMA’s advocacy. For example, because much of rural Alberta is served by fixed wireless access, RMA advocates on spectrum issues. Additionally, the emergence of low earth orbit satellites and Government of Canada funding specifically for this technology warrants an understanding of when and where it is most likely to be used.
What is the RMA’s position on the different broadband technologies?
RMA is technology neutral, meaning our advocacy is based on obtaining highspeed internet in rural Alberta regardless of the technology used to deploy it. Certain technologies will make more sense in certain areas than others. For example, satellite will likely be the best option in remote northern areas, while fibre to the premises may be an option in areas that are close to Edmonton or Calgary. To provide highspeed internet in rural Alberta it is likely a blend of technologies will be necessary.
Contact RMA Policy Advisor Warren Noga at warren@RMAlberta.com.