The Rural Municipality of Portage council is eager to get the residents they represent hooked up to fibre Internet, and they requested a meeting from RFNOW to get an update.

RFNOW Inc. CEO Chris Kennedy presented the plan for 2023 to the council on Tuesday, saying they've invested millions of dollars into the RM already and they are gearing up for a very busy 2023. Kennedy admits last year saw some challenges and they understand the RM had concerns about progress.

"Last year's construction season slowed us down a little bit, and people wonder how fast you're going," says Kennedy. "So, I just came here to show our commitment to the RM and the people in the RM, and that (the RM) is a very important place for us and that we're going to go as fast as we can."

Kennedy explained they plan to spend 4 to 5 million dollars in 2023. They have already begun construction work, building the infrastructure and putting in the fibre optic lines. While 2022 saw construction challenges, 2023 allowed them to get out earlier, and they are optimistic they can get more people hooked up with fibre in the near future.

"Especially in those farming acreages, sometimes you don't know where they are and they need to reach out and get to you. I would encourage them to go to our website and let us know where they are. There's no commitment to sign up. We can let you know when we're thinking we'll be there, and talk from there," says Kennedy. "At the end of the day, we're hoping to really have 80 plus per cent of the municipality within a mile of our fibre network, which means, we want to go sign them up if they'll trust us with that."

Councillor Roy Tufford sits on the Utility/Fibre Committee and was happy with the information presented, assuming it goes as planned.

"If it comes to fruition, it'll be very great for the RM to have that percentage of our municipality and our residents hooked up to fibre," says Tufford. "It's been something that we've tried to accelerate in the past. It's always been the RM's viewpoint that we'd like to get people hooked up as quickly as possible."

RM of Portage Councillor, Roy TuffordRM of Portage Councillor, Roy Tufford

Tufford and the rest of council will be reaching out to people to ensure they are aware of the opportunity.

"We're going to let our residents know that it's available and where (RFNOW is) going to be going, so that they have an opportunity to sign up," says Tufford. "That's always a personal decision because there are other types of Internet services available. None that probably compared to fibre, and if people are concerned about the quality of their Internet service, then they probably will opt to go for fibre."