Sturgeon County and the Town of Morinville received a provincial grant for a broadband study in the region.
Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous announced $47,500 in funding for the two municipalities at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention on Thursday (November 23).
"It's really exciting, it's a really good announcement from this area," said Sturgeon County's manager of Economic Development, Tyler Westover. "We're thankful to the Town of Morinville for being such a great partner with this project and we're really looking at hopefully having a great result."
The study will determine the infrastructure and service capabilities that a broadband network would need to support business retention, expansion and attraction efforts.
"We're definitely going to look at some of the current state of what the broadband infrastructure looks like right now," explained Westover. "We're also looking at the potential of interviews with businesses in the area to understand their needs, potential suggestions on locations as well as what the cost would be."
The results could recommend a variety of different ways to improve broadband internet access in the region, including the possibility of a new tower.
The grant from the province is half of the fund to conduct the study, with both Morinville and Sturgeon County splitting the additional $47,500.
Westover anticipates the study will be complete by the third quarter of 2018.