REGIONAL BROADBAND
Connecting the future of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region.


WHAT DOES BROADBAND MEAN TO THE REGION? 
Connected communities and competitive businesses. Internet connectivity is no longer a luxury; it is a necessary utility for regional growth. Connectivity ensures students can learn, businesses can take part in the digital economy, and families can stay connected. Access to reliable high-speed internet is vital to a competitive, attractive modern economy and to ensuring quality of life for residents of the Region.
 
Connectivity continues to be a barrier to the growth, competitiveness and sustainability of many rural communities, towns, and mid-sized cities in the Edmonton Metro Region. Many communities in the Region lack the infrastructure, or face aging infrastructure, preventing them from meeting connectivity and speed targets set by government. 
 
BACKGROUND
The EMRB Growth Plan and 2018-2023 Strategic Plan outlined the conditions needed for a competitive and sustainable Region. In October 2019, the EMRB undertook a study to develop an Edmonton Metropolitan Region Broadband Situation Analysis. 

As a priority initiative of the Board, the study will examine the state of broadband and connectivity in the Region, and will identify service gaps and opportunities to improve connectivity in the Region. 
 
TOWARDS A REGIONAL BROADBAND STRATEGY
To develop this study, EMRB will engage with municipalities, the provincial and federal government, industry and stakeholders in the sector to build a strong vision for improved regional broadband. Through this initiative, the Region will leverage our shared voice on a regional plan to connect our communities.
 
As a part of the study, a socio-economic impact assessment will quantify the impact of increased broadband access from a societal perspective. This Social Return on Investment (SROI) model builds upon traditional cost-benefit analysis by monetizing non-financial impacts of improved service delivery in the Region.
 
The Board has allocated two years to complete this project, with an expected date of completion in 2020.
 
CONNECTING OUR REGIONAL FUTURE
There is a regional need for increased broadband access and internet speeds to be a driver for global economic competitiveness, enabling the attraction and retention of businesses and skilled workers within the Region.  
 
Recognizing broadband as a driver for Growth Plan outcomes like global competitiveness, the initiative will inform options for the EMR to consider to improve the quality of life for all citizens.
 
DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES

Connecting to the Region