Fibre optic network expected to run in Moosomin and Esterhazy by year end

August 28, 2023, 9:58 am
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ongoing construction in  over 14 communities across the province this summer has been happening under phase three of SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative program.

As a result of SaskTel’s recent installation of fibre optic broadband network connectivity being constructed in rural communities, residents in Moosomin and Esterhazy can expect to have faster internet connection by the end of 2023.

Ongoing construction in over 14 communities across the province this summer has been happening under phase three of SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative program.

The program intends to deliver the same high-speed internet services—speeds of up to one gigabit per second—to people living rurally, as those living in larger urban centres.

Although fibre construction is not entirely complete in Moosomin and Esterhazy, it is projected to be completed by December.

“We expect to start connecting customers in Moosomin and Esterhazy to our fibre network by the end of the year,” said Greg Jacobs, Manager of Corporate Communications of SaskTel.

“We are also in the same position for the community of Carlyle, where construction is mostly complete and we expect to start connecting customers to fibre in Carlyle, by the end of the year.”

Jacobs explained why SaskTel took on the project of connecting rural communities to stronger internet services.

“We are bringing fibre to Moosomin, Esterhazy, Carlyle, and nearly 130 other rural communities through what we call Rural Fibre Initiative,” he said.

“It’s a program where we’ll be investing $200 million.

“The importance of this program is to ensure that our customers across the province have access to the internet speed and the level of connectivity they need to grow, compete, and thrive in the modern world.

“There’s very little that we do in today’s world that doesn’t rely on connectivity in some way shape or form, so ensuring that our customers have the same level of connectivity across the province as those in Regina or Saskatoon, or other major centres, just ensures that they can have a prosperous life in some of our smaller communities.”

Fibre network in Rocanville set for spring
Construction in communities part of phases three to six of SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative program will begin in summer 2024. Communities such as Rocanville, Kipling, Oxbow, Carnduff, Langenburg and more, have been listed in the next two phases.

“For the majority of those communities that are remaining, we would expect construction to start next summer,” said Jacobs.

“We are getting pretty close to the end of construction season.”

“Unfortunately when the ground freezes, we’re unable to replace the buried cables.

“The majority of communities that haven’t been constructed yet, will be done next year.”

Jacobs said construction has already started in the Town of Rocanville.

“We very recently began fibre construction in Rocanville in the last few weeks here,” he said.

“We would expect to start connecting customers in Rocanville to our network in the spring/summer time frame next year.”

Moosomin can expect 5G network by mid-Sept.
Throughout the construction period, SaskTel has also been upgrading the 5G network in the community of Moosomin.

“We’re getting close to launching 5G in the Town of Moosomin as well,” said Jacobs.

“By mid-September we expect to start offering 5G service in Moosomin because we’ll have our first tower upgraded to 5G there, the one on Broadway Avenue.

“Probably by the end of March 2024, we’ll have the other cell tower that serves Moosomin, just southwest of the community, to be upgraded to 5G.”

SaskTel’s 5G network will have the ability to deliver data speeds of up to 1.2 Gigabits per second. Other future benefits of 5G will include massive network capacity and ultra-low latency.

“This is part of our 5G Modern Network program, we’re rolling out 5G to all of our south sites across the province,” said Jacobs.

“It’s a multi-year project, very similar to the Rural Fibre Initiative. As we are able to, we upgrade as many cell towers within a year as we can to 5G, and we’re in a position to complete the tower serving Moosomin in the very near future for one, and in the next few months for the other.

“Once those upgrades are done, Moosomin residents will have access to a fibre broadband network and the latest generation of wireless technology.

“Really, residents of Moosomin will have the same level of connectivity as anyone else in a major centre across Canada.”