County Takes Steps To Improve Broadband

A project manager has been chosen for the rural broadband project.

Tricon Solutions Inc. will be the project manager for Wheatland County’s rural broadband project. The company was awarded the contract last week at the regular meeting of the county council.

Reeve Amber Link said, “I think that’s brilliant. I think that’s key for us to gather and know what are our needs, what do we have, and what is necessary.”

Link spoke about people making comments about the need for better broadband connectivity. “Particularly right now it is an issue.” “I do ask people, ‘what do you foresee when we have less public health measures in place?’ Less virtual work, more return to normal. People seem to think that there still will be more people working at home, still a higher reliance on technology for education. I don’t think we’re going to see virtual health platforms disappear.”

In June 2020, the county made the decision to hire a project manager to facilitate the county’s plan to improve broadband services. The aim is to make Wheatland County services competitive and increase investment.

The company will develop a Wheatland County strategy and manage a multi-year plan to improve broadband services.

This is aimed at resolving the problem of slow speeds, service, and cost challenges. During the first six months of the project, the project manager will speak to the county’s IT Manager, Chief Administrative Officer, and staff to define the project.

“More people are moving out here than ever. They are leaving the city,” said Councillor Donna Biggar.

She said that “It will benefit us through residential too. I asked quite a few realtors.” She explained that the first question buyers ask is about taxes, and the second question they ask is what’s your broadband like?

The project manager will gather information and speak to stakeholders through resources like surveys and open houses. Then an RFP (request for proposal) will be put out and companies will put in proposals on how best to improve broadband in the county.

According to county staff, this project manager won’t provide the solution, it will be the companies that submit proposals.

You can watch the Wheatland County Council meeting here.