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O-Net will make Olds a connected community

Re: Letter to the editor headlined “Fibre to the Premise laudable...”, by Bruce Waldie, page 6 of the July 31 edition of the Olds Albertan. The letter by Mr.

Re: Letter to the editor headlined “Fibre to the Premise laudable...”, by Bruce Waldie, page 6 of the July 31 edition of the Olds Albertan.

The letter by Mr. Waldie provides an opportunity for the Olds Institute to provide current information about this community-owned Fibre-to-the-Premises project.

The founding members of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OICRD), specifically the Town of Olds, Olds College, the Olds and District Chamber of Commerce and the Olds Agricultural Society have spent the past eight years researching, organizing, planning and financing this project.

We have received expert advice every step of the way, and have investigated and visited community-based projects in similar communities in the USA and Canada.

The funding for this project has included $3.5 million from the Alberta government and most recently, a $6-million loan backed by the Town of Olds.

This loan is secured by all the assets of the network, which to date include 7.6 kilometres of feeder network, and will shortly include hundreds of kilometres of conduit and fibre, bringing the fibre-optic network to virtually every property in Olds.

Additionally, the central office has been built behind the Evergreen Centre, and includes over $2 million of essential satellite dishes, computers and servers, plus backup systems to bring TV, telephone and Internet service to the citizens of Olds.

The Municipal Access Agreement signed by the Town of Olds and the Olds Institute has provided unfettered access to all community rights-of-way, and access agreements with individual landowners are a necessary function of providing service.

We are now at the implementation stage, and indeed have signed on our initial customers.

Our contractors are currently completing ‘the last mile' of the promise of connectivity made many years ago by the Alberta SuperNet. This FTTP project is all about community development.

Olds Institute is determined to ensure a competitive cost for enhanced service for the citizens of Olds, which offers land-line telephone services including no-charge long distance throughout North America, the fastest Internet service available, a host of HDTV channels, as well as hundreds of hours of free and subscription movies on demand.

Perhaps the best part of all this is that O-Net, the fibre-to-your-premises project is and will be owned and operated by the citizens of Olds, with all the future profits remaining in the community. The independent survey commissioned by the institute with Twist Marketing of Calgary, showed that a majority of citizens endorse this project, with 79 per cent of respondents indicating an interest in participating as customers of the network they jointly own.

O-Net, the Fibre-to-the-Premise project, will make Olds the most connected community in Canada, proving once again that this is a progressive and innovative community.

For information, or to contract for service, call 403-556-ONET (556-6638), email Nathan at [email protected] or go to the website, www.O-NET.CA.

I can also be reached at 403-556-6346 if you wish to talk to me personally.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this information.

Joe Gustafson, Chairman

Technology Committee, OICRD

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