Suddenly, the urban regions of Chatham-Kent feel the future of Internet connectivity here is very bright – and fast.
Two months after Bell Canada announced it is laying fibre optic cables throughout the municipality, local Internet service provider TekSavvy said it is doing the same.
Both seek to serve about 38,000 residences and businesses in the municipality.
TekSavvy, the homegrown ISP that was born and raised here in Chatham by the Gaudrault family, will do so with investment support from the municipality.
Do we need two such networks? It certainly can’t hurt.
Today’s reality is we all seem to need to be plugged into the Internet. From kids for educational and entertainment purposes, to parents for entertainment and even financial reasons, to businesses, we are all plugged in.
Here at The Chatham Voice, we move a lot of large files daily – from spec ads to photographs to our paper itself when we send it to our printer – to have slow Internet at the office. Plus, our telephone system is on VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol – and you need fast, reliable Internet for that as well.
We don’t have fibre right now, but it will certainly be an option for us in the future.
We aren’t the only business needing a fast connection. Companies do business around the province, across the country and around the globe from right here in Chatham-Kent.
Having multiple fibre optics options gives these companies more choice for how to connect to the world.
Families will have improved options for how their children can access online information when they do their homework, and they will have improved streaming and downloading options for the family for movies, video games, you name it.
Bell and TekSavvy have long been in disagreement over Internet pricing, and other issues. TekSavvy utilizes infrastructure from companies such as Bell to deliver its product, so it is very understandable that CEO Mark Gaudrault would want to establish his own fibre network inside the municipality that he, his business, and his family call home.
One can only wonder if Bell caught wind of TekSavvy’s plans, which have been in the works for 18 months, and jumped the gun with their own plans.
After all, TekSavvy is the country’s largest independent Internet service provider, and is a rapidly growing speck in Bell’s rearview mirror.