High speed internet for rural businesses: Transit Fiber

Access to high speed internet has been declared an essential service and no one knows this better than businesses in rural Alberta. This is why MCSnet has made improving its network one of its priorities for a number of years.

Transit fiber is the backbone for future high speed internet options in rural Alberta

In 2015, MCSnet decided to branch out into building its own fiber optic network with the creation of its sister company, Buried Glass Inc. (BGI). BGI’s business model is to purchase, install, and provide fiber optic solutions throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan to offer more opportunities for high speed internet. Since 2015, BGI has purchased and installed approximately 1,472 km of dark fiber and 39,722 fiber strand km throughout Northern Alberta.

BGI and MCSnet have undertaken a number of large projects within recent years to connect MCSnet’s core towers to fiber in order to meet current and future high speed internet demands of rural Canadians. You can learn more about why we are connecting our towers to fiber in one of our previous blogs.

Buried Glass Inc. is the sister company to MCSnet, responsible for building transit fiber and high speed internet for rural Alberta.

In fact, we are currently finishing up a 362 km transit fiber build this year to connect another 27 of our towers to fiber. Part of this transit fiber build also included a partnership with the County of Barrhead to build the fiber past MCSnet’s originally-planned route in order to offer GigAir in some communities and provide Custom Fiber builds directly to its Kiel Industrial Park. This Municipal Partnership project included a contribution agreement whereby MCSnet invested 50 per cent of the fiber extensions and the County of Barrhead providing the other 50 per cent. You can learn more about the partnership here.

The best time to invest in high speed internet as a utility

We have been reaching out to municipalities where we have plans to build transit fiber so that they have a chance to extend the fiber build further into their municipalities. We also reach out to local businesses, like the ones in Neerlandia and Two Hills who took advantage of lower Custom Fiber builds while we were in the area. 

The best time to invest in this type of infrastructure is when our team and equipment is already on site. Our Business Sales team will be reaching out again when we are in your area. You can also fill out a contact form on our business page so that we know you are interested. Our business team can then provide you with a quote for a Custom Fiber build, as well as an internet plan that suits your business needs. 

MCSnet is able to provide Custom Fiber for anywhere between $35 and $65 a meter, depending on crossing roads and other utilities. We even had to cross the Duvernay bridge in order to connect our towers north and south of the North Saskatchewan River. So, while it may seem like a large investment for the actual construction, it is an investment for long-term, high-speed internet.

Crossing the North Saskatchewan River at Duvernay is just one obstacle when building high speed internet in rural Alberta.

Once our Custom Fiber is built and installed into your business, we have a number of service options available for all sizes of businesses. Reach out to one of our business advisors at corporate@mcsnet.ca.

Transit fiber builds will continue in 2023 to connect an additional 27 towers in MCSnet’s network. These builds will take place across our service area, so reach out today so we can plan your Custom Fiber.

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