Identifying Potential Subdivisions for Broadband Infrastructure Improvement
The process of determining suitable sites for a new broadband hub requires identifying pertinent environmental and socioeconomic factors. A challenge when solving a complicated issue such as this is the necessity to quantify, compare and analyze individual elements. To efficiently complete the analysis, a Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) model has been constructed to weight all factors against one another. For the scope of this research, the model will be applied to the ten Canadian provinces, while excluding data from the territories, since approximately 99.6% of Canadians live within the provincial regions.
As of 2019, there are 874,433 broadband towers operated by five major telecommunications companies in Canada. Of these five major companies Rogers, Bell and Shaw Wireless are focused on the improvement of broadband speeds within developed areas. This creates a divide between rural and urban areas with respect to broadband connectivity, which can effect household income (Ivus, O., & Boland, M., 2015). Three MCE processes were run with four factors and two criteria, creating three maps which demonstrate the areas with a limited broadband connection. These models analyzed: population and density, distance from urban centers, the existence of broadband infrastructure, upgradability of infrastructure, inhabited land and distance from existing infrastructure. For the final comparison between each of the models, a calculation was used to determine the suitability of the potential locations for implementation of a new broadband hub. The results of the model show each province has a region which can have improved broadband connectivity, with the largest number of proposed areas located in Central Alberta and Southern Saskatchewan. The model worked efficiently and the findings showed a greater need for broadband deployment in Canada’s western provinces between urban centers.