The Core Backbone Broadband Internet Plan 2020-2025 is a six-stage project that would use a combination of over 360 kilometres of fibre optic cable and wireless towers to provide high-speed Internet connectivity throughout the County. Please see our Broadband Fact Sheet (pictured right) for more information about the Core Backbone Plan.
The strategy involves a Fibre to the Node (FTTN) model, which brings a fibre connection to hundreds of customers within a given radius of the node. From there, Internet service providers (ISP) will deliver service from the node to the individual destination. This means the County will not be providing end-user Internet services but encouraging competition among ISPs.
The project would cost approximately $20 million and would take between three and six years to complete. After which, 85% of residents and businesses would have nearby access to the core backbone and the opportunity for high-speed Internet connectivity.
What will this mean for residents and businesses?
- Voice over the Internet Protocol (VOIP) Phone
- Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)
- Prepaid Internet access for tourists and campers
- Agri-Tech services
Ferrier Acres Broadband Pilot Project
In May 2020, Council approved a pilot project to deliver broadband service from Rocky Mountain House to Ferrier Acres. To read the full news release, click here. The total estimated cost of the project is $998,000, with federal funding covering $371,288 and the remainder of $626,712 funded from the approved 2020 broadband capital budget.
The project involves the installation of over 15 kilometres of fibre optic cable from Rocky Mountain House to Ferrier Acres. The investment represents a major step for the Core Backbone Broadband Internet Project, which aims to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to a majority of residents and businesses in the County.
- Completed site preparation, including clearing property, preparing for utility connections and the placement of a POP (Point of Presence) facility for active fibre and wireless equipment.
- Verified access to a conduit crossing the North Saskatchewan River via Highway 11A bridge and prepared for the installation of fibre optic cable.
- Finalized permits and rights-of-way for roads, utility lines, telecommunications, and railways.
- Surveyed the entire 15.3 kilometre route in preparation for trenching, plowing and directional boring.
Nordegg Interim Solution
As part of ongoing consultation efforts for the Broadband Internet Project, Administration conducted public engagement initiatives that aimed to provide up-to-date information and gather feedback using an online and in-person comment form.
Information was distributed about project budget estimates, timelines and the impacts on residents and businesses through the County website and promoted using local newspapers, Facebook and Twitter. To better understand attitudes towards the project, Administration provided an online and hard-copy comment form for the public to submit their opinions and questions. Submission of comment forms was made available for a total of 21 days, from July 30 to August 20, 2020.
Upon review, the responses demonstrated that a large majority were in favour of the broadband project with most emphasizing the need for high-speed Internet service in the region. However, considerable apprehension also exists about the ability of Internet service providers (ISP) to deliver quality Internet connectivity.
Among the key findings from the responses:
- A large majority (76%) of respondents were supportive of the broadband project.
- The project is seen as a key driver of economic development and diversification.
- Supporters expressed the importance of connecting remote areas of the County.
- There are considerable concerns about the performance of Internet service providers.
- There are questions about the sequencing of project stages.