The Town of Rimbey council recently opted against supporting a local companies bid for fiber optic in the community.
The choice to not invest in Missing Link Internet’s bid for a grant, which would have saw a $700,000 up-front investment be paid back over 15 years was made after a survey of over 200 residents was conducted that saw a near 50/50 split.
“We as a council love the idea of fiber optic for the town but due to the economic times and being unsure of whether the Town should help finance private business venture — we didn’t feel it was prudent to spend $700,000, which would have resulted in a tax increase for our residents,” Mayor Rick Pankiw said.
Part of the reason to deny the request was the Town in 2020 committing to a 0 per cent tax increase, but Pankiw said a motion was made to provide a letter of support for Missing Link in obtaining the grant.
Pankiw said the Town remains in discussion with Telus regarding Internet connectivity in Rimbey.
“They have let us know that they have upgraded the tower in town and will continue to upgrade it. There is no timeline with Telus for fiber optic but what I personally would like to see done is sometime in the near future for us to put out a RFP and see if we can get any companies like Shaw, Telus or Missing Link even to come back to council with prices and options for the Town of Rimbey,” he said.
Pankiw said it is important to the town for residents to have fast, reliable Internet, which some parts of town have and others less so.
“It had been debated for two or three meetings and the issue is now over at this time. We look forward to what our next step is regarding Internet in town,” he said.