MUNICIPAL FIBRE NETWORK AND SERVICE DEPLOYMENT: O-NET
The Technology Committee of the Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development (OICRD) sees the development of the Olds Connected Community Network (OCCN) as a key foundation for future economic development within Olds and the surrounding region. Now after nine years of intensive effort, three years of coordination and regulatory work by eCommerce Services and five years of on-going coordination by TaylorWarwick, in July, 2013, Olds became the first municipal fibre network in Canada to offer gigabit per second internet, voice, and IPTV services to every home and business throughout the community.
Following an extensive review of the available architectural, structural, and operational alternatives by TaylorWarwick, a two-entity structure was created. Ownership and operations of the passive dark fibre infrastructure became the responsibility of the OICRD and a for-profit entity branded O-Net was established to light and operate the network and develop and run a full slate of triple play services. The overall blueprint for the operation was provided by the financial models and Business Plan developed by TaylorWarwick.
Retail triple-play services revenue enables enable O-NET to pay OICRD a set amount per client/month for use of their dark fibre infrastructure. At minimal residential and business penetration rates of 30% and 20% respectively, this revenue is sufficient for both the OICRD and O-NET to service their debt and become cashflow positive by 2015. Results from a market survey conducted in Olds by Twist Marketing over the July to September, 2010 period, found that 79% of respondents indicated a strong interest in fibre-based triple play services. Indeed, 50% penetration rates tend to be the norm in well run municipal FTTP deployments.
At this point O-Net O-Net is fully operational, competitive triple-play services are available, and fibre deployment to the remaining three service areas will be completed by fall, 2014.
The Olds story appeared in the October, 2012 Broadband Communities magazine. The article may be found here http://bbcmag.epubxp.com/i/90470, starting on page 69.
FIRST NATIONS: A SUSTAINABLE HYBRID FIBRE / WI-FI DESIGN
Though initially the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative engaged TaylorWarwick simply to develop a workable digital strategy for the Chipewyan Prairie First Nations (CPFN) Community in Janvier, this evolved into the development of an overall business case and strategy for extending broadband infrastructure to the regional and first nations communities throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). Conceptual designs and capital cost estimates were provided for options ranging from a pure wi-fi to a full home-run fibre deployment with a wi-fi overlay. Assuming community ownership and operational partners, these estimates were incorporated into detailed financial models that included parameters to vary deployment dates, services sets, business models, and to leverage RMWB proposed deployments. As SuperNet middle-mile offerings did not align with the regional requirements, e.Commerce Services was engaged to provide options.
Complementing this work, TaylorWarwick assessed the potential economic, cultural, and social benefits of high-speed Internet access in the RMWB communities of Janvier, Fort Chipewyan, Fort Mackay, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Conklin. The resulting Benefits assessment estimated the off-balance sheet 'positive externalities' the various deployment options would enable and in the development of the business case, these were added to the revenue projections associated with the provisioning of standard Internet services. Whereas the ISP business case could only justify the traditional wireless solution, off-balance community benefits provided justification for an FTTP solution.
RURAL WIRELESS BROADBAND COVERAGE STUDY
In support of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, Service Alberta, and Alberta Agriculture's Rural Broadband Initiative, TaylorWarwick, in partnership with Vitel Consulting, completed an Alberta-wide wireless broadband coverage analysis. In total, TaylorWarwick completed coverage analyses for 1 848 towers.
The government is now developing strategies to 'fill in the gaps' - something Vitel and TaylorWarwick have already done for the Counties of Parkland, Greenview, Leduc, Lac Ste Anne, and Woodlands.
ICT INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN
As lead Strategist, TaylorWarwick completed a Global ICT Environmental Scan for TRLabs and Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (AET). The scan was designed to provide 'up-to-date background, trends, and statistics for opportunities and challenges found globally, nationally, and locally in the ICT sector' that AET could use to inform policy development initiatives within the provincial government.