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Some of you may recall the little campign we launched last year around this topic using Thunderclap

I would guess that the goods and services that travel on our digital highways outweigh the physical goods in quantity and economic impact. Barrie, we need to start investing in the digital infrastructure. We heard from our Mayor that it’s been hard to keep up with the lousy roads, but the highways that we creative class drive on downtown, are equivalent to dirt roads, including potholes! The digital economy needs addressing if we want to attract and keep the digital entrepreneurs, startups and software developers. We need a Digital Economic Strategy and fast. Check out Olds Alberta, a great progressive community, a fraction of our size investing in Fibre for all!

Help us bring Fibre to our downtown and make it affordable for all!

Rural towns and villages already devastated by the exodus of local manufacturers to lower-wage countries now face further economic marginalization if they don’t build high-speed digital infrastructure. A report last year by the World Bank estimated that every 10-percentage-point increase in the availability of broadband boosted economic growth by 1.2 percentage points in developed countries. Better high-speed access may, in fact, be one of the tools Canada needs to improve its poor record of productivity growth.

Below is a thread of conversation I’m having with Olds.


Hi. Thanks for your note.  A background article on the project is attached. At this point, the network will reach the last home in the town next month and all services, including Gb/s Internet are up and running.

Olds Article.BBC.1210

I’d be very happy to chat to either answer some questions or see how we may be of help. It is Friday of a long weekend, though, and I’ve got a two documents to get out so next week would be much better for me than this aft.  At this point, my next week is fairly open except for Tuesday morning. What time(s) would work best for you?

Happy Thanksgiving, 




Thanks for the inquiry about O-NET.  I will attempt to give you a high level picture of our history.

We started our journey to installing fibre to all properties in Olds about 8 years ago and are in the last 3 or 4 weeks of completing the build.  In the beginning, we thought we would build a dark fibre network and have Shaw or Telus deliver services.  They, as it turned out, were not interested and thus we were forced to build our own central office with all of the electronics etc to offer phone, internet and TV services.  We have completed all of this after 8 years as I said above.  There are many questions to be asked and answered before you would start down this road.  The first being, do you only want to offer internet to businesses or all services to businesses and residents.  From our experience to date, I don’t believe you would get great support if you only offer internet to homes. 

You will need to figure out how to get fibre to all premises in your community.  Once you have that, then you can offer anything you want at any speed.  If you look at or google O-NET you will see our offerings and prices.

Our ownership is set up to delineate the dark fibre from the services.  Olds Fibre Ltd (OFL) is owned by the Olds Institute for Community & Regional Development (OI) which is a not for profit society to drive economic development and wellbeing in our community.  The OI owns the dark fibre network and charges OFL a fee for its use.  OFL owns all of the electronics and offers all of the services on the network.

Our total investment in our electronics is around $5M and you would have to invest this to turn on your 1st customer.  This could be a challenge. O-NET could help with this.

I am not aware of your terrain, (all of our fibre is underground) but if you could do aerial, the price to deploy fibre would be less.  Just guessing it would be around $1200 per premises passed.  

We are  community of about 8500 with approx. 4200 locations (businesses and residents and condos and apartments etc) Our financing has come from the community via loans from our council.

I hope this gives you a little overview of our network.  I would be willing to share whatever you want on our program.  If you are in Alberta at some point, I would be glad to show you around and host a meeting or whatever you like.