Telus is looking to speed up St. Albert’s internet connection by installing fibre optic throughout the city.
The telecommunications company made the announcement Friday that every household would have access to fibre optic internet at no cost. The company plans to spend $100 million to connect 90 per cent of the city's businesses and neighbourhoods along with Sturgeon County.
Mayor Cathy Heron said new parts of the city already have fibre optic in place but old sections of the city like Grandin and Mission weren’t so lucky.
“This is probably going to be a huge relief for some people,” she said. “We need it for our Smart City stuff. Riel Business Park has horrible connections up there and this is going to be a huge relief for them. I actually think they’re probably number one on the list, the first area that they will start doing this upgrading (in).”
Increasing the city’s broadband access has been a priority of council for some time. In 2017, council approved $650,000 to expand the city’s fibre optic network. Faster internet speeds are also a key component of the city’s Smart City strategy, which recently ranked third in the world by a German-based company.
Heron said the Telus announcement allows the city to check that priority off their list.
The installation is expected to take a year and a half.