HUMBOLDT — Fibre optic high-speed internet is coming to Humboldt.
Construction on SaskTel’s infiNET service will begin in the coming weeks, with service expected to launch in select neighbourhoods in 2019.
“Council and I are very excited that SaskTel is bringing this upgrade to Humboldt,” said Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor. “Upgrading to a fibre optics backbone and connecting homes and offices is a very positive economic influence for our community and for those looking to relocate here.”
The service will provide download speeds of up to 300 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 80 megabits per second.
Brent Fitzpatrick, the Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, said the news was good for local business.
“For businesses in Humboldt, it helps to even the playing field provincially,” he said, adding they’ll now have the same internet speeds as the two major cities and a few others, like Battlefords and Yorkton.
Fitzpatrick said he became interested in high speed internet because back when he was first hired, he was talking to a company about Humboldt and quickly found out their software needed more bandwidth than could be provided here.
The Mid Sask Municipal Alliance is lobbying for better internet across the region, not just Humboldt. Celine Favreau, the director of operations and planning, said the announcement for fibre optic high-speed internet was a great thing.
“This is a significant investment in our largest center, so it’s really good news, but it doesn't lessen our efforts to improve access to all of the residents across our district,” she said.
Favreau hopes the Humboldt upgrade could serve as the cornerstone for future rural development. She said Mid Sask has been talking to a number of service providers about improving internet access.
“Our plan since the start has been to improve access to everyone because the need is just as great in some of the smaller communities as well as the large.”
Fitzpatrick said he’s told SaskTel there’s a need for better internet for iron triangle manufacturers like Schulte, Bourgault and Koenders.
“They all need that, not just Humboldt. At least with SaskTel they’re very understanding about that position, so it’s certainly on their radar.”