Do you want high-speed Internet? Here is how you can help!

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It seems like everyone wants faster Internet whether it’s to keep your business operating or for personal use.

Now, you have a chance to help move a project forward with only a few minutes of your time.

The Town of High Prairie, along with several counties and municipalities in Northwest Alberta, is working with Canadian Fiber Optics, a rural Alberta-founded company, to apply for a grant to connect town residents and businesses to high-speed fiber based Internet [a minimum speed of 100 Mbps]. The regional connectivity initiative is called Project Aurora.

To increase the Town’s chances of success, they are requesting letters of support and stories on what improved connectivity would mean for community members, families and businesses.

In short, council is asking people what they need.

“Share your real-life stories to help the application,” said Mayor Brian Panasiuk at council’s Jan. 12 meeting.

CAO Rod Risling added it is important for the public to get involved.

“How bad do people want it?” he asked.

Support from residents and businesses have a meaningful impact on the success of the application. Canadian Fiber Optics is looking to receive 3,000 letters of support from residents, businesses and industry across the project area.

Council is asking everyone to please spread the word. Multiple letters from the same business and household are welcome.

Check the Town’s website and Facebook page for further details.

The second request is to complete a survey. Council believes some areas that the federal government states have good Internet speeds actually do not.

The bottom line is, if council can prove these homes do not have the speeds they could get more grant funding.

Please complete the survey by visiting www.canadianfiberoptics.ca/survey or simply following the instructions on the website or Facebook page.

“We are hopeful that with your help we can get the grant funding and we will have high-speed Internet available to all,” reads a news release from the Town and Canadian Fiber Optics.

“This is a tremendous opportunity that will help our children with schooling, businesses will be able to operate quicker and reduce costs and help people get high paying jobs.”

The deadline to share your stories and complete the survey is Feb. 3, but the sooner everyone can complete the requests the better. It will allow authorities to complete the grant application and improve chances of being successful.

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