Shaw Communications, a Canadian internet service provider and operator of Freedom Mobile, deployed its Fibre+ Gig gigabit internet service to Western Canada on May 27 for nearly all of its customers.

The Shaw Fibre+ Gig service delivers up to 1000Mbps download speed, the fastest residential internet plan Shaw Communications offers. At its peak speed, the network can transfer a 1GB file in eight seconds.

The gigabit service is the highest offering of three new service tiers. In addition to the Fibre+ Gig service, Shaw Communications also launched the Fibre+ 750 plan with download speeds of up to 750Mbps, and the value-oriented Basic 10 plan with download speeds of up to 10Mbps.

Fibre+ Gig and Fibre+750 feature unlimited data and a 2-year promotional sign-on rate. The Fibre+ Gig plan is available at $115 a month and will be $125 per month after two years. Fibre+ 750MB is available at $110 a month and $120 after two years.

In its press release, Shaw Communications claims that 99 per cent of its residential internet customers, including those in small communities, now have access to gigabit speeds.

Rolling out a Gigabit service when social distancing is driving up network usage appears counterintuitive, but Damian Poltz, vice-president of technology and strategy at Shaw Communications, said that this network upgrade has been years in the works.

“It’s been that massive amount of capacity that had to build in to allow us to support these incredible new speeds that actually turned out to be quite timely, which allowed us to handle this incredible growth in network traffic that we’ve seen as a result of COVID,” Poltz said.

Poltz told IT World Canada that Shaw has spent $20 billion to improve its networking services in the past seven years. In the future, Shaw is looking to bring multi-gigabit speeds over its fibre infrastructure.

With its headquarter in Alberta, Shaw Communications’ network is comprised almost entirely of fibre optics. It mainly provides services in British Columbia and Alberta, as well as northern regions in Ontario. The company has 3.2 million customers, 1.9 million of which are internet subscribers.

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