A partnership between municipal governments and a local school division is powering fibre optic Internet service in several southwestern Manitoba communities.
The Park West Fibre Optic Co-op has installed 60 strands of the ultra high-speed fibre, benefiting the communities of Hamiota, Shoal Lake, Strathclair, Birtle, and Miniota.
“This initiative will provide our school division with connectivity that far exceeds what we currently have for less cost than what we are now paying,” said Stephen David, superintendent and CEO of the Park West School Division.
The state-of-the-art connectivity can bring residents speeds up to 1,000 megabits, or one gigabit, per second. The fibre infrastructure has been installed and the network will be operational by this spring.
Westman Communications Group has leased four strands of fibre for its own customers, totalling nearly 700 strand kilometres.
“This is a hundred year asset. Council members worked really hard to gain an understanding of how technology works and what it can do,” said Don Cochrane, chairman of PWFOC.
Download speeds will rival those found in more urban centres, such as in Brandon and Winnipeg.