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Letter: O-NET and Olds Institute must remain

Mayor, council encouraged 'to achieve positive outcome'

Re: Olds mayor defends town's debt level

In response to the news article last month about the town’s debt level, it was refreshing to read that the mayor and his council have been working with O-Net volunteers in securing a resolution regarding the O-NET debt and future of O-NET in our community. 

It is also encouraging to see that the town sees O-NET as an asset and also a long-term investment in meeting the needs of residents and business for years to come.

Mayor Michael Muzychka made the very important point that O-NET has been generating enough money to make their payments and it is the O-NET subscribers, not taxpayers, who are carrying this financial responsibility with the town. 

It is also worth noting a few facts that may leave better understanding of the accomplishments and benefits of having O-Net in our community. 

O-NET has brought a very positive experience to homeowners, with their excellent trouble-shooting services and with no waiting online to talk to a technician, which in our experiences far exceeds that of its competitors. Our local advertising channel encourages local shopping and O- NET public Wi-FI is available in dozens of locations and now in parks and green spaces. 

During the pandemic, O-NET subscribers have realized the technical benefits of O-NET enabling them to work from home with the best high-speed internet thus allowing their university, college and K-12 students to continue their education at home without data restrictions. 

O-NET also brings many advantages to the growth and sustainability of our town businesses of which most have become subscribers and have reduced their telecommunication costs significantly, another  huge benefit these days when town businesses are struggling to survive. 

Since October, 2020, Olds hospital has enjoyed a fibre optic based Wi-Fi network installed by O-NET throughout acute care and long-term care, a huge plus for the connectivity for patients and staff. There has been a steady growth in the use of this service by long-term care residents, which is  huge for them during these unprecedented times.

We want to encourage Mayor Muzychka and his council to sit down in good faith with our dedicated O-NET volunteers and Olds Institute to achieve a positive outcome so we can keep O-NET as a viable  town investment. 

This outcome is well deserving for all subscribers, but also for the outstanding businessmen who volunteered hours, months and years to fulfill their intentions of bringing such a gift to our community and to see it grow and flourish for future generations.

Giving back to the community has always been at the heart of O-NET’s vision for the future and it is encouraging to see that everyone involved in these decisions has been instrumental in keeping Olds on the map as an outstanding progressive community, with much to offer.

As O-NET subscribers, we encourage others to sign up for this service and become part of this successful legacy. You will not be disappointed.

Dave and Sandy Heilman,