In December 2016, the CRTC, announced that it expects high speed internet to become a universal service across all of Canada by 2021. It has set a standard of 50 Mbps for download and 10Mbps for uploads with an unlimited data option. A fund has also been set to this end.

Mbps means “Megabytes per second”. The higher the number the more we, at home, can stream Netflix well, download images, video and music. High Mbps means that business people can send and receive very large files such as video for film makers, images for printing, design files, book designs, engineering and architectural plans and so on.

Tempo is interviewing all our local providers to find out how they plan to respond. This month we begin with Cedric Tardiff, the Chief Technical Officer for Axion. As a result of a merger in 2007 of Cable Axion, CoopTel and Dery Telecom, Axion offers residents of Knowlton a complete service of phone, internet and TV. Axion currently offers, in the built up sector of Knowlton, a home service of up to 30Mbps. Business accounts can access 1 Gigabyte Mbps. In the next two years, Axion plans to offer all local home users in Knowlton a 100Mbps service as a standard package. Such service speeds will make Knowlton competitive with major urban areas and help freelancers compete globally.

Axion currently offers 24/7 service support in both languages and by a human being. Tardiff assured Tempo that Axion intends to continue to offer this high level of personal service. He also assured Tempo that Axion is working on including more TV channels in English as well. Video on demand is also in the 2018 planning horizon.

The Axion service is based on cable. As such, it is still confined mainly to households in high density areas such as Knowlton. Many of our readers live in more rural areas and so will not be able to access Axion’s cable-based service. Tempo will be following up in the months ahead with other providers that can serve this customer group.