Reliable Internet infrastructure helps protect jobs and improve quality of life in Waldheim, Saskatchewan

Located about 45 minutes north of Saskatoon, the town of Waldheim is becoming one of Saskatchewan’s newest bedroom communities. Its 1,200 residents are a mix of farmers, thriving business owners and commuters who work in nearby cities. Yet not long ago, a lack of critical telecommunications infrastructure threatened the town’s and its inhabitants’ future.

Prior to 2021, it was very common for Internet connections to drop five or six times a day. The local Internet service provider was unable to offer frustrated customers a solution. Its service delivery was heavily reliant on the available infrastructure, and it could not plan and fund an upgrade to its network.

The lack of reliable Internet service also threatened the livelihood of local businesses, putting many people’s jobs at risk. Long-established local companies were considering leaving Waldheim, some even after having served the community for over 120 years.

Chris Enns, a member of the Waldheim Town Council, was once employed by a local company with strong historical roots in the community. “The lack of reliable Internet was affecting business to the point where, although we had just built a new 6,000 square foot office building in Waldheim, we were contemplating our future there,” said Enns. “It became a very significant risk to us to not have high-speed Internet.”

“Now we have all the beauty of the small town, the parks, golf course, school, amenities, and now we can say we also have high-speed Internet. It’s just one more thing I think will enable Waldheim to grow for years to come.”

Chris Enns, Councillor, Town of Waldheim

Collaboration between private and public sector brought reliable Internet to Waldheim

In 2019, Enns started looking for partnership opportunities that could help resolve Waldheim’s dire need to upgrade its infrastructure. The much-needed infrastructure upgrade was the result of a collaboration between private business, the local government and FlexNetworks, getting Waldheim connected to reliable high-speed Internet by 2021.

The infrastructure upgrade was made possible because of a nearby Government of Canada connectivity project. FlexNetworks was able to run 27 kilometres of fibre cable from the neighbouring town to connect Waldheim residents and businesses.

“Waldheim is among several communities that greatly benefited from the funding FlexNetworks received from the Government of Canada,” said Jacques Taillefer, Executive Vice-President of FlexNetworks. “Thanks to those approved projects, we deployed a fibre infrastructure that is nearby or passing through numerous underserved communities, unlocking a world of opportunities for residents and businesses.”

High-speed Internet has not only allowed established businesses to stay in town but also enhanced many aspects of the community. As Enns puts it: “Now we have all the beauty of the small town, the parks, golf course, school, amenities, and now we can say we also have high-speed Internet. It’s just one more thing I think will enable Waldheim to grow for years to come.”

Related information