Rhineland Municipality is exploring all of its options when it comes to improving internet service to its ratepayers.

Reeve Don Wiebe says there are several ways to go about it, but council needs more information before moving forward on it.

Wiebe says there is a large debate going on across the country on how municipalities should view internet service. 

"A question that municipal governments are debating is whether internet is an essential service. I know that some municipalities have considered it an essential service and have created a utility to provide that service. That's one way to go. Or is it something we should support private enterprise to provide with a certain number of grants."

Some of the options being considered by Rhineland council include the establishment of a wireless internet service similar to what Morden is offering its residents.

The other idea would involve connecting to the internet backbone that is being constructed by local company Valley Fiber.

The City of Winkler is part of the Valley Fiber network and has invested significant dollars to help the company bring high-speed internet service to its taxpayers. The town of Altona is also looking into that option.

"They've come to Rhineland to determine our interest in creating a fiberloop across our municipality that would run through Plum Coulee, Rosenfeld and further east to connect some of our villages and then down to Gretna and some of the villages to the west and then back to Winkler, so it essentially creates a loop. To do that would require some financial support."

Meanwhile, Wiebe suggested there may also be a possibility of connecting to the local school division's fiber network, but that is still in the early exploratory stages.