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Creating Rural Broadband Possibilities

On the eastern shores of Georgian Bay sits the quiet rural community of Carling, Ontario. Comprised of rocky inlets, rugged granite ridges and towering pines this Northern Ontario community has been a beloved area to live and visit for generations.

Along The Shore Lines
The residents, a mix of year-round and seasonal homes and cottages are spread out over more than 52,000 acres of Canadian Shield. They have established businesses to support the growing population alongside their recreational activities and avid tourism.
Need for Better Internet:
With a history of always being left out of new technologies, Carling Township was in need of an innovative solution to bring better broadband. When word spread that Vianet would be bringing fibre internet to their neighborhood, the property owners were understandably both skeptical and hopeful. Fibre to their door was not a solution they had ever imagined possible.
I said to the guys,
I hope you celebrate, not that your just good technicians and you did your job.
You have changed our lives!
- Gloria
Finding a Solution:
Vianet knows that creating relationships and working with local champions is the key to solving rural broadband challenges. West Parry Sound Smart Networks, a local volunteer group that was trying to bring better broadband to the area approached us to help make reliable internet a reality in the region. With this partnership alongside CENGN, an Ottawa based organization that advances global technology innovation for the prosperity of all Canadians, we knew it made sense to expand our network further and solve this problem.
Building the Tower:
It was clear that extending our fibre optic network through 24km of rural terrain from Parry Sound to Carling was prohibitive. With the high construction costs and low density of residents, fibre infrastructure directly to the area was simply unfeasible financially.

Vianet came up with the solution to create a new Hop and Drop© that would extend our existing fibre to utilize SMART’s community tower at the local museum. We then constructed a new 200-foot tower at a high point near the residents of Carling. Between the two towers, an advanced fixed wireless backbone solution was implemented connecting the Carling community to Vianet’s existing network at a speed of 1Gbps.
Building Fibre:
By creating this innovative connection, it not only gave us the required backhaul bandwidth but also provided a level of redundancy to deliver a reliable high-speed network. From this tower, Vianet installed underground fibre to the home, passing approximately 280 properties both permanent and seasonal. These homes now have access to the CRTC standard of quality 50 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up service delivering internet, IPTV and telephone.
Delivering More:
This project began with a start-up investment of $500,000, 50% invested by Vianet and 50% by CENGN to pass the initial 100 homes in the project area. Understanding that the challenging terrain was preventing reliable internet for other property owners in the immediate area, Vianet continued to invest another $250,000 to include an additional 180 residences.
Fulfilling a Dream:
Residents of Carling had limited options when it came to internet providers and struggled with having their voice heard amongst larger centres. In September 2020, Vianet connected the first customer to fibre to the home and continue to bring more residents online. This project is possible because of the persistence of one small-town Ontario community, invested partnerships and Vianet’s dedication to finding a creative solution.
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