Xplornet completes major step towards fast internet for all of PEI

Internet company Xplornet was the first to use a utility corridor built into Confederation Bridge 25 years ago.

Xplornet has stretched a 15 km long fiber optic cable through the corridor that runs under the roadway. It’s part of the company’s plan to bring high-speed internet to all PEI . nationwide

“To do that, we need to connect the island to a fiber network in New Brunswick,” said Charles Beaudet, Xplornet’s vice president for the Quebec and Atlantic regions.

“Our goal is to provide urban services as well as urban prices. We’re not going to charge more than what people in Charlottetown pay.”

Complaints about internet speeds in rural areas go back many years, as do promises to fix it. Xplornet had previously promised to connect all islanders by February 2018.

Beaudet told Island morning host Laura Chapin that her new network, which will connect 100 percent of islanders, will be operational in March.

On the island side of the fiber optic cable, the company is completing a network of 40 towers that will all be connected by fiber and have the capacity to reach customers in rural PEI with a 5G wireless connection.

“It gives us a lot more capacity to connect everyone. And that’s the goal here, to be able to provide 100 percent coverage to all residents of PEI,” Beaudet said.

“Our goal here is to not only provide the capacity we want now, but to make sure we have a lot more capacity going forward because we know it’s going to grow.”

The total cost of the project has not yet been confirmed. It was previously valued at over $70 million, with $33 million from the federal government, $3.4 million from the county, and $37 million from Xplornet and Bell.

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