Lac la Hache will be getting double the usual internet speed it has now on a trial basis sometime soon.
ABC Communications announced on Feb. 1 plans to conduct internet service trials in Lac la Hache with Huawei Technologies Canada and the latter’s Massive MIMO Rural Broadband System, which can deliver internet speeds upward to 100 megabits per second for rural residents.
“The speeds they are promoting are 100 megabits is unheard of in rural areas. In fact, many people who are hooked into the Telus and Shaw systems can’t get that,” said Al Richmond, the electoral director for Lac La Hache.
He said the technology that Huawei plans to test in the trial has already been approved by the federal government.
The technology called Massive MIMO (multiple-input-multiple-output) groups together antennas at the transmitter and receiver to allow for better throughput and efficiency.
“I think the real story here is that now it opens up the possibility for better access to broadband, which people in rural areas have been demanding and asking for and not getting anything of any consequence, so they can do a lot of internet work at home as it becomes more important to have access to broadband so you can do your day-to-day business,” said Richmond.
Richmond said slow internet has hurt some local businesses, as prospective customers and tourists go to other destinations with faster internet, particularly resorts.
ABC Communications, said Richmond, has been working in the Lac la Hache area since the 1990s, providing the internet to the local fire department and for the community.
“What this technology does is gives people access to 21-century broadband access and 100 megabits. That’s real speed and that’s really a tangible opportunity. I think that provides us with some additional economic development potential with the tourism sector, like more availability with high-speed internet, and also other economic development opportunities with people running their businesses from homes,” said Richmond.