Fiber optic internet means no data caps
by Dawn Gray
Local internet provider MNSi Telcom is upgrading its service to allow for faster speeds, lower prices and no data caps for customers.
MNSi Telecom expects to invest $35 million on the gradual installation of the new cutting edge fibre optic cables. The fibre service will provide internet speeds up to one gigabyte per second, download speeds of 940 megabytes per second and upload speeds of 100 megabytes per second. According to Cybera, a not-for-profit technical agency, the average Canadian download speed is 30.3 megabytes per second and the average upload speed is 7.6 megabytes per second.
The new technology will allow for lower prices for many data packages by up to $50 per month and for bandwidth caps to be removed. All MNSi customer accounts are now considered to have unlimited data and will no longer see overage fees.
Clayton Zekelman, president and owner of MNSi said any customer who uses the internet in these new fibre areas will benefit from the upgrades.
“Households that stream content from Netflix, YouTube and other high bandwidth sources will appreciate the improved video quality and stability that fibre optic internet offers,” said Zekelman.
As customer needs have increased, the decision to construct a fibre optic network was based on the fact that service provided on copper telephone line is limited according to Zekelman. The actual cables that run underground and along streets do not need to be changed during this transition – just the optical equipment on either end.
“As the equipment becomes less expensive and customer demands increase, the network will be able to handle the growth,” said Zekelman.
Fibre optic internet uses technology which allows for information to be sent through cables and optical equipment using small, flexible strands of glass which transmit pulses of light. The light forms an electromagnetic carrier wave that is able to transfer information. This allows data to be sent faster over greater distances.
“Our approach is to find ways to make higher speeds more cost effective and drive down the cost of providing faster service through volume,” said Zekelman.
The transition has already begun across the city, starting with around 20,000 homes and businesses. Dave Hartleib, manager of underground construction for MNSi, said customers will notice the difference in speed from the new service as soon as the equipment cables have been installed.
“It’s so much faster than what anybody else can provide right now through copper cable,” said Hartleib. “The intent is to cover Windsor completely with fibre optic. It’s a long procedure but we endeavour to finish as quickly as possible.”
Zekelman said compared to traditional internet service providers, there are fewer fibre optic based internet providers on the market. Fibre optic networks are mainly available in large cities but not in many smaller cities and neighborhoods. According Zekelman, that footprint is expanding.
The fibre roll-out is MNSi’s largest infrastructure improvement project since the company opened in 1995. The ongoing work will continue to be done throughout different neighbourhoods over the next few years and the plan is to cover as much of the city as possible by 2020.