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Check out the Google Fiber-like service in this tiny Canadian town

Google Fiber
Google Fiber
Welcome to the sleepy town of Olds, Alberta. Their internet speeds blow yours away.

The new dream of every tech geek is that Google Fiber will come to their city, but in one small Alberta town they probably don’t care.

The rollout of Google’s service, which delivers speeds of that are a hundred times faster than what the average American currently enjoys, hasn’t hit Canada and is barely available in the U.S. It debuted to test site Kansas City first, with a planned expansion to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah and then, presumably, beyond.

There was excitement when Google Canada listed job postings related to Google Fiber on LinkedIn, but the odds of the company coming to Canada are still regarded by many as slim.

But the town of Olds, Alberta isn’t waiting around for Google. A company wholly owned by the people of Olds, Olds Fibre Ltd (O-NET), is now providing Google like service to the 8,235 residents of the town, which is located 90km north of Calgary.

The town’s fibre network debuted last year, and is getting rave reviews from residents.

“It’s amazing” says Monte Hindbo, who owns a company called Spearhead Design and talked to local paper The Olds Albertan. “We are doing giant laser scans of three gigabytes and we need to transfer that data to companies around the world.

Hindbo says the service essentially allows his company, which has 35 employees, to stay in Olds.

“It has given us a whole new marketplace for us. Instead of uploading one file every 12 hours we can do 50 files in two hours,” he said.

Olds Resident Richard Chase, who works for a computer sales and repair shop, says the bandwidth really helps at his business, and he enjoys the speed at home.

“At home, its awesome for Netflix, movies and shows load incredibly fast and because of the awesome ping rate, online games also perform very well,” he says.

The fibre network in Olds isn’t as fast as Google Fiber, but with 100Mbps Download and 5Mbps Upload, it blows away the speeds that Canadian city-dwellers are getting, and the company’s business package delivers speeds of up to 1Gbps. Residents pay $169.98 a month for the service.

The idea for a fibre optic network for the town actually came about nearly a decade ago, and was ultimately funded by the town of Olds and the Province of Alberta, who kicked in $3.5-million in grant funds.

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

Comment

  1. I’m glad you found out about our project Nick, we’re really excited about the response.

    I just wanted to let your readers know that for that $169.98/month, our members get awesome HD IPTV, unlimited North American Phone, 100×5 Ultraband internet with no data caps, and a 50GB FibreDrive.

    Stop by O-NET.ca for more details.

  2. 100 down and 5 up? We had that in nova scotia 5 years ago, we have 250 down and 10 up with eastlink now, although that still doesn’t please me. I’m more about upload, I want 30 or more at the very least.

  3. HOLEEE CRAP. a $3.5m grant for 8500 residents, or probably 3500 (or less households). A $1000/household grant (in addition to city funding), to compete with existing service from the private sector? Surely the city could have come up with something better to do with $1000/household. That’s two $175,000/year doctors for 10 years to improve the health of citizens or or or.

  4. Well they are now offering 1000mbps up and down now for residential users in Olds. No data caps. Wish I lived there still I’m right next to them in Didsbury now. We have Shaw 100 broadband which is good, and Telus is putting in fibre to the home here. Nothing like 1000Mbps UL/DL though.

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