Utility Pole - Crews were seen installing new utility poles along Bell and Dewdney Streets in Indian Head last week as part of the Joint Use Pole Replacement Program. The program ensures that SaskPower’s utility poles are structurally able to support SaskTel’s fibre optic Internet cable.

Crews were seen installing new utility poles along Bell and Dewdney Streets in Indian Head last week as part of a collaboration between two Crown corporations.
In 2020, SaskTel announced it would start a $100 million Rural Fibre Initiative. The multi-phase program would bring SaskTel infiNET service, using a fibre optic network, to 45 rural communities by the end of 2023. Indian Head and Fort Qu’Appelle were included in Phase 3 of the program; Kipling is included in Phase 4.
Earlier this spring, SaskTel began working in Indian Head to replace its existing copper network with fibre optic cables. This will give customers in the community access to the same high-speed Internet service available in Regina, Saskatoon and other urban centres.
“One of the limitations with our copper network is that we can’t deliver extremely fast Internet speeds over it,” explained SaskTel spokesperson Greg Jacobs. “When we want to start delivering speeds close to a gigabit per second, we really need that more advanced fibre infrastructure.”
Jacobs noted that Internet service is provided either through buried or aerial distribution. In the areas where wires are hung from power poles (aerial distribution) SaskTel and SaskPower are cooperating through the Joint Use Pole Replacement Program, which eliminates the need for SaskTel to install or maintain their own utility poles.
“As we are taking down our copper infrastructure and replacing it with fibre, SaskPower is making sure the poles that are in place today can handle the additional weight of that fibre,” Jacobs explained. “In some cases they’re replacing poles just to make sure that they have the structural ability to hold the new infrastructure.”
Twenty poles are being replaced in Indian Head and, to keep workers safe, planned power outages have been scheduled in conjunction with the project. Residents southwest of Grand Avenue and southeast of Otterloo Street can expect to be without power on August 29, between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Residents northeast of Grand Avenue and northwest of Water Street could lose power on August 30 and 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
SaskTel said that things are progressing well for the fibre optic cable installation in Indian Head and anticipate that customers could begin accessing the service by the end of this year.

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