Over 38K Homes, Businesses In CK To Get Fibre Internet
Browsing the internet is about to get a lot faster in Chatham-Kent.
TekSavvy and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent announced on Monday that they will be teaming up to develop a high-speed fibre broadband network in Chatham-Kent. TekSavvy, which is Canada’s largest independent Internet service provider and headquartered in Chatham, plans to connect more than 38,000 residences and businesses in the region.
TekSavvy intends to invest up to $26-million over 18 months and the municipality plans to invest $6.5-million towards the development of fibre internet in Chatham-Kent.
TekSavvy CEO Marc Gaudrault says it’s critical the municipality has high-speed internet, because “this is where the world is going.”
“There’s the growth of attracting businesses and knowing that they have access to the fastest on-ramp there is to the internet I think is really critical,” he says.”For residents and even people looking to move to Chatham-Kent, I think those are all parts of what goes into a really strong and sustainable community.”
TekSavvy has already begun construction for its fibre network in Chatham.
“We have roughly I’d say 100 businesses that we have fibre to and I think 100 homes and we have another 1,100 in the works over the next few months,” says Gaudrault.
The company has plans to expand to Blenheim, Ridgetown, Tilbury, and Wallaceburg.
“The business case helps to sort of point where the need is going to go, however, there are other areas outside of those mentioned that are under-serviced and we’re certainly doing what we can to address those areas,” he says.
Gaudrault expects the work to be completed over the next 18 months. He doesn’t expect any interruptions in internet service while the work is carried out.
The CEO also doesn’t think the faster internet will impact people’s wallets.
“A year or two ago, we lowered rates right across the board, so we’re definitely very aware of how the rates impact people’s lives,” says Gaudrault. “I think TekSavvy has always been a leader on the front.”