By on August 29, 2012

The fact businesses in the Town of Osoyoos are at a competitive disadvantage due to the lack of high-speed Internet services being offered in this community has become a worrisome problem, says Mayor Stu Wells.
“This is an absolutely huge issue in my opinion,” said Wells, who answered questions following a presentation to members of Town of Osoyoos council early last week by Andrew Allin, who owns One Information Technology, which provides Internet services to the town on a contract basis.
“The reality is we’re getting Third World Internet service in this town. It’s not good enough to run most home businesses with this kind of service and it’s a cause for real concern.”
During his recent presentation, Allin said broadband Internet service throughout the Osoyoos and the Oliver area is one of the poorest in the entire province.
“It’s just not up to standards,” said Allin. “Anything south of Okanagan Falls is just very poor. I feel companies will have a competitive advantage over businesses in Osoyoos because the high-speed broadband Internet service you’re getting here simply isn’t good enough.”

After doing a detailed analysis of the Internet services being used at town hall and talking to staff, Allin said he was shocked at how slow the service is compared to municipalities in other areas of the province.
In Penticton, information moves along the technological highway at five megabytes per second, compared to one quarter of one megabyte here in Osoyoos, said Allin.
Small businesses in today’s economy need the capability to share detailed information at rapid speed, said Allin.
Being able to download and upload detailed engineering documents and plans can only be done quickly and efficiently with access to high-speed Internet service – something which has become a serious problem in this community, he said.
Allin presented numerous options to members of council, including accessing fibre optic cables or working with current providers and asking them to improve current infrastructure to provide more broadband capability.
“We need to do something,” he said. “If you’re attempting to attract home offices or getting more people to work from home, we can’t really do it now.”
Following Allin’s presentation, Wells said he found it “shocking” Internet services being provided in Osoyoos were so far lagging behind other communities and insisted something needs to be done.
“We need a big upgrade here,” he said. “It may have serious budget implications, but we need to do something. I really hope we can move forward on this soon because we need a solution.”
As a new board member with the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT), a new economic development agency started by the provincial government, Wells said there may be funding available to municipal governments looking to upgrade technological infrastructure.
“A couple of small towns in the Kootenays each received $50,000 to upgrade their service … so we might be able to look there as a starting point,” said Wells.
Allin’s presentation drove home to him and council that the largest providers of Internet service has ignored this part of the province for too long, said Wells.
“We’re looking at attracting businesses to this community and any business owner is going to check out things like high-speed service and the quality of the Internet and it upsets me we might lose a business opportunity because of the lack of service we have in this town,” said Wells.
“This is an issue we’re going to have to take a serious look at very soon. It could have some serious budget implications, but we can’t ignore what’s going on here.”

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  1. Frank R. Stariha

    August 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The figures stated in the story, if accurate, are indeed shocking. For a comparison, the upload speed provided to my Kelowna RESIDENCE by Telus averages 22.5 to 23 megabytes per second. If the quoted upload speed of 0.25 megabytes per second for businesses in Osoyoos is accurate, you might as well be using smoke signals instead of a computer.

  2. Frank R. Stariha

    August 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Correction: the 22.5-23 mbs is the DOWNLOAD speed. Upload speed comes in around 2.73 mbs. Either is light years beyond the 0.25 mbs quoted for Osoyoos.

  3. Frank R. Stariha

    August 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    In case you’re wondering just what speed you’re getting, just google “” and hit “begin test”. It will give you a snapshot of both your download and upload speeds and remove all doubt.

  4. K Ross

    August 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    80 ms

    Download Speed
    4.52 Mbps

    Upload Speed
    0.44 Mbps
    My test results using EastLink – cable “high speed”. Pretty disappointing results. When will a serious player, like Shaw be giving us the speeds that Penticton residents can get? This is what you can get in Penticton, if your heart desires:

    Up to 100 Mbps download speed
    Up to 5 Mbps upload speed
    500 GB monthly transfer limit
    Lousy internet speeds can be a deal-breaker for a business considering setting up shop here in Osoyoos. What kind of pressure can Osoyoos residents put on Internet providers to bring us up to 1st World Standards?

  5. Rick

    September 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Internet service to Osoyoos is a joke. We practically begged Shaw or Telus to come in and provide decent service and they couldn’t be bothered. We’re stuck with slow crappy service and I don’t see it improving. It is costing us thousands of dollars because we had to rent space to run our home business out of Penticton because of it. It’s a monopoly here and we don’t even get a choice, we are stuck with crappy service.

  6. Sion

    September 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    My family and I own a motel in Osoyoos, and we have definitely felt the hit, with customers complaining and giving us 1 star on trip advisory just because of the internet! I’ll be surfing right beside the router and it just stops working without reason…. its a shame we havent been told this before so we can tell our customers, that all of Osoyoos are struggling.

  7. Liz

    September 22, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I’m considering moving to southern BC to run a home-based business. High speed internet is an absolute REQUIREMENT for me and will determine where I choose to re-locate. This is why I looked up “high-speed internet Osoyoos” and found this article. Its important that your local government does everything it can to get high speed internet there – otherwise economic development will come to a standstill as no new businesses will locate there and current businesses will leave.

  8. Pat

    September 28, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I moved here 4yrs ago and promptly told Eastlink that they were charging high speed prices but not providing actual high speed internet. I suggested this was probably against the CRTC regulations, if not at least false advertising. Eastlink has not improved. I would suggest a letter to CRTC from every single customer might light a fire under them to make improvements in the area. It would be great if CRTC pulled their license here and Shaw could move in and bring South Okanagan into the 21st century. At the very least, cancel your high speed and go to lite or whatever they are calling the lower costing option now. You save money and dont lose speed because South Okanagan only has one speed!

  9. Irene

    October 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

    My husband and I had our heart set on moving to Osoyoos to each start our own business. This is a deal-breaker for us. We’ll be moving elsewhere now. Probably Penticton.

  10. Mike

    October 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Telco’s and Cable co’s will likely never roll out the necessary fiber optic infrastructure to communitites as small as Osoyoos to support what larger metro areas have today. The ROI jut doesnt exist to justify such an investment. Instead, the communications industry is moving towards providing similar (or sometimes faster) speeds through their Mobility networks. Currently mobile users in Osoyoos can attain speeds on the order of 8-15Mbps using a HSPA modem from one of the big 3. Before the end of 2013 LTE will be available with rates in the 40-60Mpbs range. The down side to this is cellular data plans usualy have much smaller data caps (1-6GB is standard) which reopens the UBB discussion.

  11. Barbara

    November 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I am planning to spend some time in Osoyoos this winter. I am very disappointed to read about the slow internet. I am reconsidering my plans.
    High speed internet is just expected.

  12. Jim King

    November 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Tryed the test in my home (using Telus and i am wirless)
    2.64 download and .70 upload

  13. Mike

    January 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Jim: It depends on what network your device supports. If your device is older than 18 months or so you’re likely running a CDMA or HSDPA user and those speeds are in line with what that standard can deliver. Try upgrading to a HSPA+ or LTE device and your speeds should increase dramatically. I use an HSPA+ USB key for my laptop while visiting Osoyoos and regularly see speeds >10Mbps.

  14. Cliff

    May 13, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Don’t understand all the complaining about net speed. I have an Eastlink connection for around $35. and usually get around 78mbps. That is 78 not 7.8. Upload speed around 7.0 mbps. Seems pretty fast to me.

    • Travis

      March 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      There is no way you are getting 7.8mbps upload in Osoyoos. The ONLY providers we have access to offer no more that 0.5 mbps (even though they advertize 1mbps.) for $70/month.

      The rest of the world is getting AT LEAST 5mbps upload for $25 a month. (they also have upwards of 25mbps download compared to our 5.)

      This makes it nearly impossible to run a business in Osoyoos.

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