Solving PEI’s Internet Access Problem

Exciting news from the provincial government: PEI Transformation From Canada’s Smallest Province To Canada’s Smartest Province:

From high-speed Internet access and full-motion videoconferencing, to remote curriculum delivery and collaborative multimedia software development, this new infrastructure will transform the province into an ideal information technology testbed. Partnerships are being pursued with networking hardware and software firms and content creators. More importantly, unlike broadband networks in other provinces and states, PEI’s will deliver top-speed connections into all parts of the province, not just a neighbourhood here and an industrial park there.

Oh, wait, that’s from 1997.

Here’s the 2019 version of the fantasy:

This project will allow Prince Edward Island residents and businesses to better connect to the world, do business, and learn,” Premier Wade MacLauchlan said. “It will make our province a national leader in internet quality, and fulfill a promise we made to Islanders in 2017.”

Every government since 1997 has had its own take on addressing this issue; all have failed. I don’t question the motivations of those who’ve tried; I simply believe, with significant historical evidence to support me, that ubiquitous Internet infrastructure is not a problem the market economy has the skills to solve.


Mark Greenan's picture
Mark Greenan on March 22, 2019 - 00:37 Permalink

If only Islanders had a democratically elected body that could access capital on the money markets at a rate comparable or better than telecommunications companies ...

Andrew's picture
Andrew on March 22, 2019 - 00:39 Permalink

I have no problem with tax money assisting in setting up rural HSI, but are we going to be on the hook for upkeep? Service providers have to maintain their networks, upgrade, etc. Does it make sense for Bell for replace a broken piece of equipment if it over services a road with three houses that bring in maybe $350 a month?

Ben's picture
Ben on March 22, 2019 - 13:33 Permalink

Yes, it makes sense Bell (or somebody) to have t build and maintain infrastructure. Treat ISPs like utilities and don't let them pick and who choose who they want to service.