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.