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Today marks an exciting milestone in our ambitious plan to connect 600,000 rural Canadians to fibre Internet by 2026.

Fibre Internet is now available to over 270 homes and businesses in Prince Edward Island, including the communities of Vernon Bridge, Millview, Vernon River, Pownal, Mount Mellick, Alexandra, Alberry Plains, Belfast, Summerville and Eldon.

We caught up with Dennis Steiger, Chief Technology Officer at Xplornet, to ask him what this launch means for Xplornet and our customers. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us more about today’s announcement.

Starting today, over 270 homes and businesses in select communities in rural Prince Edward Island can now benefit from gigabit speeds on Xplornet’s fibre network. This is the first milestone in our ongoing project to connect over 3,700 Islanders to a fibre network. We started construction on the Confederation Bridge and are so excited to now bring the vast benefits of a fibre network to Islanders in this first phase of the project. More communities will also be announced soon.

What benefits does Fibre Internet bring to Xplornet customers?

Fibre networks deliver gigabit speeds, making it the fastest network technology available. Customers will benefit from increased reliability and consistency. Fibre Internet connects a home or business directly to our network through a fibre connection to deliver exceptional online experiences – especially for data-heavy applications like streaming, video calling and gaming. As Canadians use more and more connected devices at home and at work, Fibre Internet can keep up with the demand and offers symmetrical speeds, which means that upload and download speeds are the same.

What are Xplornet’s plans for expanding fibre to more Islanders and rural communities across Canada?

We have plans to bring fibre connections to 600,000 rural Canadians by 2026. To deliver on this ambitious plan, we have fibre projects already underway in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and, of course, PEI. Our teams are working around the clock to deliver this next-gen network technology to more rural Canadians because we believe that everyone should have access to the transformative benefits of fibre, no matter where they live.

What are some of the challenges that come with rolling out fibre in rural Canada?

Well, it should come as no surprise that harsh Canadian winters impact our construction timelines. In some cases, we bury the fibre optic cables which means we have to wait for the ground to thaw before we can start construction. There’s also a lot of upfront work that needs to happen before we start rolling out fibre – this includes securing permits, completing network designs, and working with local utility companies to make sure we don’t damage underground natural gas or hydro lines. Our collaboration with Maritime Electric, local construction teams and all of the partners involved on the project in PEI helped us stay on track and we’re thankful for their support.

To see if Fibre Internet is available or coming soon to your area, visit our Fibre Look Up Tool.