Groundbreaking will have to take place in order to offer groundbreaking technology to Moose Jaw.
SaskTel CEO Ron Styles and assistant vice president for fibre to the premise Brian Eltom held an information session at the Moose Jaw SaskTel office on Tuesday to inform the community about the multil-million dollar telecommunication project slated to begin in May.
The project will involve SaskTel upgrading its telecommunications systems with fibre optic cable to offer customers more data at a faster speed.
“We’ll be able to offer triple the output as the competitor ... 33 per cent more speed than the competitor,” Styles said on the new service, calling InfiNet. “The competition still uses copper and SaskTel wants fibre optics running in everyone’s home.”
Styles said the technology will be able to deliver around 260 megabytes per second.
The only area where SaskTel expects delivery problems is north of the city, around the Western Development Museum and the Trans-Canada Highway.
According to SaskTel, “Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Program, a seven-year $670 million dollar investment to deploy fibre directly to homes and upgrade the broadband network in the nine largest urban centers in the province, Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Swift Current, Yorkton, North Battleford and Prince Albert.”
Styles said around $45 million will be spent on upgrades in Moose Jaw and area. He and Eltom were upfront that the project will include digging and construction in the community over the next year to deliver the service.
“We will try our best to not have disruptions, but it can’t be promised,” Styles said.
Work on communication towers has already taken place, with digging planned for May 1.
“We’ll have five crews working ... and it could take up to November,” Eltom said on the construction timeline. Both agreed the entire project would run into 2014. “We will have to enter some people’s yards for the conversion ... but we want to communicate with our customers and community to let them know why we need to be there,” Eltom added.
Styles said customers and residents with questions and concerns should be directed to SaskTel customer service at 1-800-727-5835.
For more on this story pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald.