Item - 2017.ED25.4

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on December 5, 2017 without amendments.
  • This item was considered by the Economic Development Committee on November 17, 2017 and adopted without amendment. It will be considered by City Council on December 5, 2017.

ED25.4 - Advancing Broadband Infrastructure and Internet Connectivity

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on December 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2017, adopted the following:

 

1.  City Council direct the Chief Information Officer and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, in consultation with other City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations, to establish an interdivisional Internet Connectivity governance structure, comprised of a Working Group and Steering Committee; this governance structure will coordinate efforts, identify options and seek City Council direction as required to improve access to affordable high-speed internet for all Toronto residents and businesses, and to ensure that City infrastructure and regulation evolves and aligns with improving technology standards.

 

2.  City Council direct the Chief Information Officer and General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to further analyze the digital divide by comparing socio-economic data, including from the 2016 Census, and available geographic broadband penetration data to help support the digital access goals of the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

 

3.  City Council direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, as part of the Division's business growth services, to work with Toronto businesses that have identified a lack of required high-speed broadband services to seek equipment upgrades and additional options from internet service providers, particularly in the City's employment areas.

Background Information (Committee)

(November 3, 2017) Report from the Chief Information Officer and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture on Advancing Broadband Infrastructure and Internet Connectivity
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ed/bgrd/backgroundfile-108896.pdf
Appendix A: Toronto Broadband Study - Prepared for the City of Toronto by FONTUR International Inc. and MDB Insight Inc. (October 2017)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ed/bgrd/backgroundfile-108897.pdf

Background Information (City Council)

Maps referenced in Appendix A submitted by the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-109832.pdf

Motions (City Council)

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item) Dec-07-2017 6:45 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - ED25.4 - Adopt the item
Total members that voted Yes: 35 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Hart, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Neethan Shan, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Lucy Troisi, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 10 Members that were absent are Christin Carmichael Greb, Joe Cressy, Justin J. Di Ciano, Mark Grimes, Michelle Holland, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Cesar Palacio, John Tory

Declared Interests (City Council)

The following member(s) declared an interest:

Mayor John Tory - on account of his previously disclosed continuing association with Rogers Communications.

ED25.4 - Advancing Broadband Infrastructure and Internet Connectivity

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Economic Development  Committee recommends that:

 

1.  City Council direct the Chief Information Officer and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, in consultation with other City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations, to establish an interdivisional Internet Connectivity governance structure, comprised of a Working Group and Steering Committee. This governance structure will coordinate efforts, identify options and seek Council direction as required to improve access to affordable high-speed internet for all Toronto residents and businesses, and to ensure that City infrastructure and regulation evolves and aligns with improving technology standards.

 

2.  City Council direct the Chief Information Officer and General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to further analyze the digital divide by comparing socio-economic data, including from the 2016 Census, and available geographic broadband penetration data to help support the digital access goals of the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

 

3.  City Council direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, as part of the Division's business growth services, to work with Toronto businesses that have identified a lack of required high-speed broadband services to seek equipment upgrades and additional options from internet service providers, particularly in the City's employment areas.

Decision Advice and Other Information

Joel Swaggerman, Fontur/MDB and Denis Stelatos, Fontur/MDB addressed the Committee.

Origin

(November 3, 2017) Report from the Chief Information Officer and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture

Summary

The purpose of this report is to evaluate the current state of broadband infrastructure and internet services in Toronto, and to recommend the establishment of a collaborative process within the City to advance certain internet connectivity objectives. Specifically, the report lays out two primary connectivity objectives: that all Toronto businesses and residents, including those in low income households, have access to affordable high-speed internet, and that, where applicable, the City ensure its infrastructure is evolving to align with improved technology standards. In support of these objectives, the City should also maintain awareness of Public Sector broadband initiatives, leverage known good practices and provide input as appropriate.

 

Several recent Council decisions have directed staff to assess Toronto's wired and wireless broadband infrastructure and consider how the City can support internet access and affordability. Reliable high-speed internet is increasingly necessary for residents to access information and services, and for businesses to operate, expand and contribute to innovation-based economic development. Additionally, the ability of the City to adopt "smart" technology to help deliver services more effectively relies on the state of the physical enabling infrastructure.

 

This staff report builds on a background consultant study that concludes that Toronto has relatively good access to wired, wireless and Wi-Fi broadband. However, standard prices for wired and wireless internet across the city are likely unaffordable for low-income households, representing over 20 percent of Toronto's population. This has created a 'digital divide' among residents. Moving beyond the current situation benchmarked in the report towards the achievement of connectivity goals for all residents including low income households will require ongoing attention. As a first step, staff recommend the establishment of an interdivisional Internet Connectivity governance structure to consolidate knowledge about broadband issues, provide updates on key connectivity indicators, consult with Agencies and Corporations, and identify policy options and resource requirements.

Background Information

(November 3, 2017) Report from the Chief Information Officer and the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture on Advancing Broadband Infrastructure and Internet Connectivity
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ed/bgrd/backgroundfile-108896.pdf
Appendix A: Toronto Broadband Study - Prepared for the City of Toronto by FONTUR International Inc. and MDB Insight Inc. (October 2017)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ed/bgrd/backgroundfile-108897.pdf

Motions

Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Michelle Holland (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council