Spruce Grove to receive $4.25 million in stimulus for broadband infrastructure

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The City of Spruce Grove awoke to an early Christmas with $4.25 million geared toward broadband infrastructure wrapped neatly under their tree.

Minister of Municipal Affairs Tracy Allard announced the City will receive a total of $4,251,472 to expand the fibre optic network in the city’s commercial and industrial areas.

“This significant support from the provincial government will contribute greatly to the recovery of our local and regional economy. Investing in a fibre optic network in our industrial and commercial districts is critical to economic sustainability. This network will enhance Spruce Grove’s market competitiveness by helping attract and retain talent, as well as drive new investments and business development,” said City of Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston.

The project will provide reliable and affordable high speed broadband services and provide the basis for the extension of 5G and Smart Cities.

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This will create approximately 29 jobs and will enable further industrial and commercial business investment.

“I feel the most compassionate thing we can do right now is create jobs for Albertans. The MSP program provides vital infrastructure dollars to our municipal partners so they can invest in Alberta’s economic recovery. I want to see visibly local results in community after community across Alberta and MSP is creating those results. In these challenging times, we are protecting Albertans today and building Alberta for tomorrow,” Allard said.

Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton also played a key role in making the funding a reality.

“I was glad to work with Minister Allard on this fantastic investment into developing a broadband network, which will have far-reaching positive effects for Spruce Grove’s industrial and commercial zone,” Turton said.

The full scope of the project can be split into two cost streams. The broadband internet component in the city will cost around $4.8 million while adding a fibre ring for City buildings will cost $1.9 million. In his original letter to the minister of municipal affairs and the minister of infrastructure Houston highlighted the importance of completing the project.
“While the City of Spruce Grove observed significant population growth in the past 15 years, the trade-off between addressing public works infrastructure and broadband infrastructure meant that the latter received less investment due to competing needs,” Houston said during a recent council meeting. “As a result, city businesses located in the industrial and commercial regions are operating on connections that are below both the Canadian Internet Registration Authority provincial average and the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Council) basic standard service.”
The City expects to go to tender for the project in March, with completion slated for nine months from the tender date. This will make Spruce Grove one of the first cities in the province to be able to handle 5g and broadband at a commercial level.
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