As part of "Small Business Week" in Canada, the Town of High River is discussing it's upcoming plans to launch a municipal fibre internet build, which will make faster and more reliable internet speeds cheaper and easier to obtain.
Manager of Economic Development for the town of High River Jodi Dawson says as technology changes and evolves, local entrepreneurs will need to rely more and more on maintaining an online presence.
"All of the business support environment understands that in order for Canadian business to be successful, knowing how to work in this digital economy is imperative. It could be as simple as making sure your Google presence is up to date, making sure your social presence is consistent. Business owners are recognizing that your digital presence, is your store front,"
Dawson says High Rivers fibre availability will look a little different then other towns.
"The town is taking the lead in this, it will be a municipal fibre build and there will be no other carriers involved. We will be launching service under a brand that has already been defined named: 'High River Connect'. The intention is the town will be deploying this infrastructure so other carriers can leverage it if they wish to deliver service to end customers, but the town will also be involved in delivering the service, to ensure customers have choice."
With current options around town being sparse and often expensive, Dawson says they've been collecting feedback and hope to fill the demand.
"Over the course of 2017 we did some surveying and while there is some availability from other carriers, it is somewhat limited based on where your located. The survey we did within the business community identified that this [competitive internet speeds] is a high need and that they do need more access."
While faster internet speeds is enticing news for all residents, Dawson says their first priority is assuring business owners have initial access.
"We will be delivering to residents within the downtown footprint but the intention is to deploy to business first. Then the town will have to take a look moving forward, what the potential will be for delivering the service to residential areas."
There's no release date for High River Connect yet, but Dawson says the town is planning to launch the service in early 2019.
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