Olds boasts fastest downloads in the country

Olds has been dubbed “Canada’s capital of broadband Internet download speeds” by the Huffington Post.

Olds has been dubbed “Canada’s capital of broadband Internet download speeds” by the Huffington Post.

A March 10 posting in the online news aggregator’s Canadian edition noted that the Central Alberta town has the fastest broadband download speed in Canada, based on data compiled by Ookla, a Seattle-based broadband connection testing company. Olds was measured at 106.22 megabits per second (Mbps), or about one gigabit a minute — which was tops out of more than 500 communities included in Ookla’s list.

The community with the second-fastest broadband internet download speed was Quispamsis, N.B., which lagged more than 40 Mbps behind Olds, at 65.78.

No other Alberta towns or cities were among the top 10 on Ookla’s list. That list was not available in its entirety, but information on an Ookla website indicated that the download speed in Red Deer was 19.97 Mbps, while Lacombe came in at 18.79, Sylvan Lake at 18.63, Rocky Mountain House at 14.88, Innisfail at 13.93, Stettler at 11.85 and Ponoka at 9.61. The Alberta average was 24.7 Mbps and for Canada it was 27.0.

Ookla’s figures are based on speed tests conducted by Internet users, so reflects the average speed of only those using the test. They do not represent a measurement of all Internet connections.

Internet service in Olds has been bolstered in recent years by the development of a fibre-optic network known as O-NET. It’s owned by Olds Fibre Ltd., which in turn is controlled by the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development.

In addition to high-speed Internet, O-NET subscribers receive TV and telephone service.

Mitch Thomson, executive director of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development, praised the residents and leaders of Olds for backing the fibre-optic venture.

“We stand out in Canada having the fastest upload and download speeds because we chose to become competitive in the world marketplace.

“As a result of a decade of learning and perseverance, our volunteers have created a company in O-NET and a fibre network that connects every home and business, future-proofing our community.

Robin Harder, O-NET’s director of network operations, said a gigabit-per-minute Internet speed might seem excessive. But in households with multiple Internet users, it can be needed, he added.

“For example, say all five people in your home want to watch separate ultra-high-definition videos on YouTube. With gigabit service, all five of you can watch to your heart’s content and still have enough bandwidth left over for anything else you can imagine.”