Winnipeg based MTS announced this week that it will deploy an advanced Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network in the City of Selkirk Manitoba and an adjoining portion of the rural Municipalities of St. Andrews and St. Clements, north of Winnipeg.

The project is expected to begin later this year and will take several years to complete.

This is the MTS' second FTTH announcement this year. In January, the company was the first to launch a fibre to the home network in Manitoba in the Waverley West neighbourhood of Winnipeg.

FTTH connectivity is notable because it allows telecommunications providers to offer numerous digital home services such as high definition television, very high speed internet along side traditional landline phone service.

MTS says once the network is launched it will begin offering homeowners a triple play of services including: Internet Protocol Television (IPTV); high-speed Internet services with initial download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and potential for future speeds above 100 Mbps; and landline phone service.

"This project will further improve our services in these areas by replacing older copper-based networks with the latest state of the art technology, fibre optic cable directly in the home." said MTS President Kelvin Shepherd.

In addition to higher speeds and greater bandwidth, the company says FTTH is also more cost effective in servicing new home developments when compared to existing hybrid fibre/copper technologies, which helps to keep maintenance costs down in the future.

The FTTH Council, a trade group promoting the development of fibre connections in North America, recently reported that there are now more than 17 million homes passed by fibre in North American with 5.3 million subscribers.

In Canada, the biggest implementation of FTTH is in Frederiction and Saint John New Brunswick 70,000 homes are expected to be passed by Fibre by the middle of 2010.

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