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July 19, 2013

Small Alberta Town Gets Massive 1,000 Mbps Broadband Boost

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Ultrafast internet speeds that most Canadian city dwellers can only dream of will soon be available to all 8,500 residents in a rural Alberta community for as little as $57 a month, thanks to a project by the town’s non-profit economic development foundation.

"We’ll be the first ’gig town’ in Canada," said Nathan Kusiek, director of marketing for O-Net, the community-owned internet service provider that runs the fibre optic network being built by the non-profit Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development in Olds, Alta., about 90 kilometres north of Calgary.

On Thursday, the board of O-Net gave approval for residents to get access to a full gigabit (or 1,000 megabits) per second of bandwidth for the same price that they currently pay for a guaranteed download speed of 100 megabits per second — $57 to $90 a month, depending on whether they have bundled their internet with TV and phone service.

"Essentially, we have the capacity. It will actually be a really good experiment to see what people use," Kusiek said.

O-Net had been thinking about making all the bandwidth fully available to residents for some time, he added.

"Because we’re a community-owned project we get to balance out profitability versus what’s best for the community."

One gigabit per second is the same speed offered by Google Fiber, as a pilot project, in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kans., for $70 a month — a service that is envied by residents of many other U.S. cities, if the internet buzz is any indication.

With that kind of bandwidth, Google says you can stream at least five high-definition videos at the same time (allowing multiple people to watch and download different things in different rooms of a house), among other things.

Click here to read the full article.

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