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Canada can learn from Olds, AB – the city with the fastest Internet speed

Broadband Breakfast Staff



It hosted the World Plowing Championship, and it has the fastest Internet speed in Canada.

Yep, Internet speeds in Olds, Alberta are about 10 times faster than the rest of the country.

While homes in cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto are toiling with maximum speeds only up to 100 megabits per second, in Olds Alberta – 90 kilometres north of Calgary – they have access to one Gigabit per second connections, and at the bargain basement rate of $57 per month, with no data caps.

This is not the latest venture of Google Fiber, but rather a 10-year-long project that cost about $13 million, started by a non-profit corporation with the intent of keeping young people in the town from flocking to other urban centres. Over time, the company built up the network, and without the help of the major Internet providers, it has come up with a high-speed solution to rival any other service in the country.

Most people in the town don’t subscribe to the gigabit service, the more affordable 30 megabit per second service is the most popular package. But that’s still faster than most people enjoy in the large urban centres, and Olds residents also get telephone and television service in the same bundle, at about $97 per month.

Olds is a good lesson not just for rural towns trying to stop urban sprawl, but it also shows that it is possible to build a reliable high-speed network without relying on the established players. As Olds’s fibre optic network is entirely owned by the town, perhaps this is a model the rest of the country can follow. The Olds method should be expanded nationally with a non-profit company in charge of building and managing the telephone wires and fibre optic cables from cost to cost, which it would then rent out to providers who give the service. This is the model in Australia today.

It wouldn’t be ludicrous for the state to control such an asset, since the CRTC already basically own the airwaves, and lays out the ground rules for television providers, radio stations, and cellphone providers to bid on those assets. Building and maintaining is no huge stretch.

Sourced through from:

I met a fellow at a conference this week in Park City, Utah, who flagged this Gigabit Network community for me. Great reading!

See on Scoop.itBroadbandPolicy

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