Survey results indicate Sundre residents prefer town-owned high-speed internet

Next step is determining whether cable can run off utility poles

Cran Campbell writes that the internet can be used as a tool for spreading hate.

Cran Campbell writes that the internet can be used as a tool for spreading hate.

The Town of Sundre has completed a major step in its plans to establish high-speed internet in the community of 2,800 people.

The town has been steadily moving toward obtaining faster internet service — comparable to what larger urban centres take for granted — by going to a fibre-optics (broadband) system hundreds of times faster than the older DSL system now available.

The town could become one of the smallest communities in Canada to have a community-owned broadband fibre-optic network.

Earlier, the town concluded that the best model to follow would be to have the network infrastructure built for and owned by the town, then offer wholesale access to private Internet Service Providers for a fee, who would then market it to consumers.

According to the town, the fibre optic deployment, projected to cost $2.75 million over four years, could reach operational profitability in less than five years. The money would be borrowed but taxes would not be affected. Ultimately it would provide revenue to the town.

On Monday, Sundre town council received the results of a comprehensive survey done by Banister Research and Consulting about broadband service.

Public consultation was undertaken regarding the level of demand for broadband telecommunications services, and public appetite to invest in a publicly-owned network.

Out of 635 completed surveys, 75 per cent of respondents either strongly or somewhat support the town’s pursuit of broadband fibre optics, the town said in a statement.

Sixty-four per cent indicated they would have high or very high likelihood of switching to any combination of service that involved new broadband internet service.

Seventy-five per cent of total respondents supported the town generating revenue by wholesaling access to Internet Service Providers on a network invested into and owned by the Town of Sundre. Forty-six per cent supported the town inviting a private company to install a network with no town contribution.

As well, 60 per cent of respondents preferred the public option, while only 25 per cent preferred the private one.

As a result of the survey, council decided to direct administration to begin the process of undertaking the next steps necessary to determine the feasibility of deployment of fibre optic cabling along Fortis utility poles in town. Administration is to provide an update to council in September.

The results of the Banister survey are considered accurate 19 times out of 20), with a margin of error no greater than + 3.2%.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Head coach Jason Chatwood, left, sports one of the Sylvan Lake Gulls’ first on-field hats next to Aqil Samuel, general manager and president of baseball operations, earlier this year.
Sylvan Lake Gulls ticket sales off to flying start

With the inaugural season quickly closing in, the Sylvan Lake Gulls hit… Continue reading

Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s chief medical health officer publicly criticizes staffer who leaked info

EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, dealing with rocketing COVID-19… Continue reading

The RCMP major crimes unit is investigating after a person was found dead at a residence on Stewart Street in Red Deer’s Sunnybrook neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer RCMP investigating suspicious death in Sunnybrook

A ‘deceased adult’ was found by officers

A detail from Canyon Light, an oil painting by Joan Clement, in the Scale exhibit by members of the Red Deer Art Club. It’s showing at the Viewpoint Gallery in the city’s Culture Services Centre. (Contributed image).
Outdoor art gallery and scavenger hunt is on in Red Deer next month

But First Friday receptions and patio concerts are postponed

Mahomes vs. Brady spices up Thanksgiving holiday week

Mahomes vs. Brady spices up Thanksgiving holiday week

Cowboys miss chance for NFC East lead with another home loss

Cowboys miss chance for NFC East lead with another home loss

Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim advance in Europa League

Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim advance in Europa League

Keegan Messing performs during the Men's Short program at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. If the world figure skating championships do go ahead in a bubble in March in Sweden, there is a good chance Canada won't be there. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada might not compete at world figure skating championships – if they happen

Canada might not compete at world figure skating championships - if they happen

A piece of hockey history is up for sale, with a rare Vancouver Millionaires sweater, seen in an undated handout photo, hitting the auction block. The cream and maroon wool cardigan is believed to have belonged to Hall of Fame goalie Hugh Lehman, who backstopped the Millionaires to a Pacific Coast Hockey Association championship in 1922-23. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Lelands Auction, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Hockey history up for sale as 97-year-old Vancouver Millionaires sweater hits auction

Hockey history up for sale as 97-year-old Vancouver Millionaires sweater hits auction

Canada’s Nembhard scores 11 points off the bench in Gonzaga debut

Canada’s Nembhard scores 11 points off the bench in Gonzaga debut

Mighty Heart is breezed by exercise rider Des McMahon, at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Woodbine Entertainment says it has officially cancelled the rest of its thoroughbred racing season following discussions with the Ontario government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Woodbine Racetrack ends horse racing season after talks with provincial government

Woodbine Racetrack ends horse racing season after talks with provincial government

As Alberta’s COVID-19 cases rise, so does tension over world junior championship

As Alberta’s COVID-19 cases rise, so does tension over world junior championship

Most Read