Since work started to address Stettler’s Internet woes more than a year ago, Shaw has implemented a solution to its capacity issue, and Telus said its capacity problems will be resolved in the next few months.
Shaw has carried out the proposed node-split, which has eased capacity problems in the area.
“Right now, Shaw’s problems are pretty much fixed,” said Darrin Bosomworth of Artemis Computers, who first started working on the Internet problem. “They’ve been very cooperative in getting the problems fixed.”
He added that Shaw customers are now getting approximately the level of service that they’re paying for, whereas before those customers were only getting a fraction of it.
“It’s enough of a difference that in my case, it’s life altering. I can’t stress that enough,” Bosomworth said. “But that’s what we should have been getting to begin with.”
Chris Gerritsen, the media contact for Telus, said that Telus is working on adding more ports to deal with the high demand in Stettler.
“Obviously, this is a priority for us,” he said, adding that the company is working with the community.
“Our goal is to have more ports ready in June,” he said. “It will help alleviate some of that strain.”
The town had a meeting with Telus earlier this month, and those present signed a non-disclosure agreement. Gerritsen said that Telus is planning to do more, but cannot reveal details for competitive reasons.
“It’s got a lot more serious traction now. About four or five months ago was when it started getting some serious headway; once the town started getting more involved,” Bosomworth said.
The more difficult problem to resolve is the geographical aspect of the conundrum. The Internet infrastructure in the east industrial area of Stettler cannot adequately function with the present demand.
“What Shaw has done, they’ve fixed all the pissed off people, but it’s done nothing to help the east industrial side of town,” he said.
It would cost Shaw approximately $900,000 to $1 million to lay more cables in the east industrial sector of town. So far the town hasn’t committed to this solution, but CAO Rob Stoutenberg said that it is premature to say that they won’t. It remains to be seen whether Telus will do something to solve this part of the problem.
Bosomworth says that Stettler isn’t the only community experiencing these problems, and they’re all trying to find resolutions.
“You get that snowball rolling here, and you get more people that are going to phone in, and more people are going to get on the bandwagon. Because it’s not just us. There are many other people in the same boat,” he said.
“Everyone’s going to be squawking, so you need to squawk louder than the rest of them to get noticed.”