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Community Broadband: Regional Examples


Community inititatives that have implemented broadband. Many of these projects are in rural areas, some are in remote areas. These examples show how it can be done.

Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
Just links for a work in progress. Contains information related to the Sunshine Coast as well as references that apply to other communities in British Columbia, Canada.

Broadband initiative for Highlands ( Jan 22, 2003 )
SIXTY years ago a campaign was launched to bring mains electricity to every household in the Highlands. The costs were considered by some to be prohibitive, but the achievement helped turn around the prospects of the area. A similar initiative has now been launched to try to provide 100 per cent coverage of broadband, the latest communications technology, and ensure the area does not fall behind in technological advances.

Rural Community Networks - Growing Social Capital Via Interactive Technologies
"Can the Internet be useful for rural and remote areas of developing countries, especially the poverty-stricken regions? Can interactive technologies fit into the fabric of sustainable community development via social entrepreneurship? Can a virtuous cycle of appropriate technology, local knowledge capacities, and revitalization of rural communities be stimulated? Is it possible to interleave government information distribution along with participatory local governance in an equitable manner? Are there models for leveraging localized technology platforms for preserving indigenous knowledge and harnessing social capital?" ( reports from the IT 2002 Summit in Kathmandu )
As the reach of the Internet and wireless communication technologies continues to expand at unprecedented rates around the world, concerns are growing about ways and means of bringing rural communities into the fold as well. A number of approaches have emerged, such as building bridges via globally-dispersed online communities, or via locally-based community networks.

Smart Communities Project Canadian Demonstration Projects
By providing tools and local services that touch on education, community service and business development, SMART CHOICES wants to create an eCommunity that empowers residents to make informed choices about their community. Smart Choices eCommunity will use technology to bring together government, educational institutions, community groups and businesses in delivering comprehensive local services based on the needs of the citizen. Our community portal or window, will focus on providing information and services to our common customer, while at the same time respect each community partner's political, social, economic, and cultural identity.

Community Broadband Solutions Group
Wicomm Inc. was founded in 1999 to offer services as a "carrier?s carrier" for the delivery of next-generation broadband wireless services to unserved and under-served communities across Canada. It began as a consortium of provincial utilities, a national railroad and a telecommunications carrier with a global fibre-optic network. These partners were assembled to provide Wicomm with access to existing fibre, microwave towers, co-location facilities and Right-of-Way. Our management and advisory team includes former Presidents and Vice-Presidents of companies such as Telus, MTS, and AT&T.

Crossing The Digital Divide
It took over a year, but the determined folk of Saint Pierre, led by the inter-community Rat River Communications Co-op, found a way to bridge the Divide using broadband fixed wireless technology. Today the town and its partners operate their own wireless ISP, using a Motorola Canopy fixed wireless access system to provide high-speed service to local businesses and residents.

DSL Growth in Japan Driven by VoIP (pdf)
Yahoo Japan reported a 67% increase in subscribers of their broadband service FOR THE QUARTER driven in part by the bundling of VoIP service at no additional charge with the DSL service..giving Yahoo a 30% market share for DSL in Japan.

Ruby Ranch Coop
The Ruby Ranch Internet Cooperative Association ("the Coop") is a member-owned and operated provider of high-speed Internet connectivity to homes in the Ruby Ranch neighborhood in Summit County, Colorado.

Personal Telco Project
Personal Telco is a grass roots effort to empower people to build the infrastructure through which their data flows. By creating, packaging and disseminating Open Source tools, documentation and community support we are building city wide networks which are open to, and maintained by, the public.

Columbia Mountain Open Network
will deliver a first class telecommunications infrastructure at fair prices to every risident, educational institution, health facility, business and community groups in the Columbia Basin region of British Columbia. The CMON will enhance the quality of life in the Columbia Basin by: fostering communication between families, improving acess to services, increasing educational opportunities for students and teachers, enhancing healthcare services and increasing opportunities for business and economic development.

The Revelstoke Fiber Optics Network Feasibility Study pdf ( October 2001 )
At the outset of this study, there were many questions around the technical and financial feasibility of a municipal fiber optic network. Since then it has become apparent that fiber optic equipment, Internet Protocal transport methods, and public control of infrastructure are the choice that will provide a 'future-proof', next-generation, upgradeable network that can keep rural or low population areas competitive with urban centres.

SummerSide Fibre Net Prince Edward Island PEI Canada ( 2001 )
We are working on a project to bring fibre to every home, business and organisation in the City of Summerside. This is a collaborative, community-driven venture in economic development, empowerment and local management and ownership of the infrastructure which shapes the way we live and the things we can do

SummerSide Gets Wired
"Our goal is to position Summerside as a technology leader, to establish and promote Summerside as an integrated "Wired Community" through the collaboration of various private and public sector partners, business and education institutions, to improve communication, increase interaction and explore new business opportunities in the electronic age"

Open Directory Project: Municipal Networks: New Articles

Municipal Networks as Alternative to Commercial Broadband?: Slashdot forum relative to a front page Wall Street Journal article ( Aug 17, 2001 )
What's been people's experience with municipal broadband networks? It seems like it's made people happy, and if the internet is like a public utility and if companies are dragging their feet about providing service, why shouldn't municipalities take it upon themselves to deliver service for their constituents?"

BIN: Columbia Basin Information Network; organizations acting together to provide free, centralized, universal access to Basin information for all Basin residents and organizations.

Kamloops: Community Fibre Networks Fast Facts. ( May 23 ,2001 )

UBC: Development of a high-speed optical network linking educational institutions and medical research facilities to one another and the global research community through partnership.

CEONet: Communities of Eastern Ontario

Connect Ontario: Ontario will invest up to $50 million in broad-based partnership initiatives that create a high tech network of 50 connected smart communities across Ontario. Led by the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, this includes assistance for the development of infrastructure plans and the implementation of information and service-based electronic infrastructure projects. A further provincial investment of $32 million will make land-related (geospatial) information available to and usable by connected smart communities. This component of Connect Ontario, called GeoSmart, is led by the Ministry of Natural Resources. GeoSmart will integrate land- related data across the province and will facilitate geospatial business applications required by most communities and many large and small businesses.

Måt|gränd's 100 Mbps fibre-network: the Real Highspeed network we installed here in my neighbourhood in Umea in Northern Sweden in March 2000. Remember: Everything slower than 10 Mbps is just a toy!

BEV: Blacksburg Electronic Village includes a townwide all fibre network. An outreach project of Virginia Tech, this site provides a number of insightful and technical documents about the nature of connected communities and the implications of bringing broadband connectivity to households and businesses.

Case Studies: International Service Delivery Models

NRTC: The National rural Telecommunications Cooperative supports more than 1,000 rural utilites in delivering telecommunications and information technology solutions to their communities.

Manitoba: Accelerating the Deployment of Manitoba's Broadband Network Infrastructure White Paper ( July 6, 2000 )
The expectation of access to low-cost advanced broadband services will soon rival the expectancies for telephone service to your home or place of business. Learning institutions, health facilities, research parks, recreational complexes, art galleries, government, business and residential users are demanding higher bandwidth connectivity in order to employ their applications of choice. Broadband Project Office

Stokab: Alternative telecom infrastructure. Stokab began rolling out an optic fibre-network- and still is - in order to stimulate multiple investments and to innovate new telecommunications services in the Stockholm region. One strategic decision, passed when operations begun, was that Stokab should only offer the market the fibre-optic infrastructure, i.e. dark fibre, and leave the services and new service developments to the telecommunications companies. This decision has been of great importance to the business and will constitute our guiding star in the years to come.

CPAU: City of Palo Alto Utilities. With the Palo Alto fiber backbone, the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is introducing a newconcept in telecommunications. This extensive new fiber optic infrastructure promises to add a new dimension to Palo Alto's telecommunications marketplace in the form of an unprecedented level of competition and direct fiber access available to all.  Fibre to home trial, Configuration Options

The Case for Municipal Fibre: White Paper ( August 15, 2000 )

Grande Prairie Alberta: CyberCity Initiative
The initiative has three principal thrusts:

1. Cooperative deployment of shared high-speed equipment, systems and software providing universal interactive access to data and information,
2. Generation of awareness throughout every segment of the community concerning the opportunities and challenges of living and competing in the Information Age, and
3. Assurance of affordable, managed, interoperable equipment and network connections which are reliable, expandable and secure.

Harlan's Telecommunications Utility
Built in 1996, Harlan's telecommunications infrastructure is known as a  Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) system.  It consists of 9.3 miles of 60-strand fiber optic cable and 34 miles of coaxial cable. Over 60 power supplies feed to the system and provide backup power in case of an outage.

Town of Cary: Fibre Overlay Project: September 3, 2001
Construct a fiber optic network to the curb along all of Cary's 450 street miles. The network would contain numerous fibers that could be leased on a long-term basis to companies providing entertainment (cable TV), data/internet, and telephony services. Having multiple service providers would bring competition to these services and, thus, the lowest rates and highest level of services to the people of Cary.

Toronto: Feasibility of Establishing a Telecommunications Authority and
Related Matters Respecting Rights-of-Way Access and Use ( November 26, 1998 )
Council has directed the Chief Administrative Officer to examine the feasibility of the City establishing a telecommunications authority. In order to provide context, the use of City rights-of-way and road allowances for telecommunications infrastructure is reviewed and an overview of the legislative environment for municipalities is provided. This report recommends an approach for the City to deal with its operational matters in the short-term while setting the stage for a strategic approach to telecom network development. An initial focus on the City's own rights-of-way uses for telecommunications purposes and responding in a coordinated manner to external organizations is the recommended starting point.

Community Broadband Deployment Database: National Regulatory Research Institute USA
If you are involved in a project or community effort to deploy broadband, please take a few moments to answer the questions below.  Your information will become a part of a nationwide searchable database of community efforts.  The last few questions ask for details, insights, opinions and advice.  Communities across the nation are eager to learn what other communities are doing - and this database will allow them to learn from the experiences of others.  The Joint Conference on Advanced Services will also use the database to compile a Community Guide, a resource for communities wishing to speed the deployment of advanced telecommunications capabilities.

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Updated: Monday, May 10, 2004 - V0N 1V1
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