The Technology Committee has a vision for Olds - the creation of a connected community where citizens are intelligent consumers of technology and have established a culture of use. This is a community that goes far beyond e-mail or simple e-commerce; it is a community where access to and use of information technology exists on a scale equivalent to the current use of electrical power or water in our taps.
Since 2004, the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OICRD) has been committed to installing a Fibre to the Premises broadband network that would contribute to sustaining Olds as a vibrant entrepreneurial rural community. The construction of the open Access Telecommunication Network using only fibre optic infrastructure to connect each residential, commercial and industrial lot in Olds began in May 2012. The Olds Connected Community Network (OCCN) project delivers its own broadcasting, phone and Internet services to customers We are making available to every business and citizen, advantages such as Voice Over Internet communications (VoIP), mass storage, virtual private networks and bandwidth of whatever magnitude a citizen or business needs. These services are delivered by Olds Fibre Ltd., operating as O-Net, a wholly owned company of the OICRD. For information concerning service packages, see www.O-Net.ca or see the link on the tabs above.
The design of the network breaks the community into 11 districts. As of Dec 2012, 6 districts have the distribution network completed and all premises in those districts can now have fibre connected from the property line to the premise. The completion of the fibre build out will be completed in the summer of 2013. We project there will be 47 man years of employment required during the construction phase and a minimum 10 technology based full time positions required annually to operate the network.
The Olds Fibre to the Premise network will be the first Canadian Community Owned Open Access network with a business model unlike any other Canadian example. OCCN is inclusive in that it is committed to providing curb access to all residential, commercial and industrial properties in Olds, and to install fibre lines from the curb to at least one building on each of these properties, subject to permission of the property owners. The Olds Connected Community Network will offer retail bundled voice, data and entertainment services over a fibre optic infrastructure. It is designed for success in a rural Canadian setting and will provide future private sector investors and government departments with a clear picture of the potential returns and outcomes from installing and operating a community owned network in rural Canada. Thousands of volunteer hours have been invested in assembling the technology, services, community buy-in and political support to make this network a reality. We have received significant support from the Alberta government and from the Town of Olds.
The Connected Community Committee (CCC), a subcommittee of the Technology Committee has been engaged with and providing information on technology for a number of years, resulting in increased use of technology.
In addition, the new Olds Municipal Library, with state-of-the-art facilities is also offering quality community programming. The Community Engagement Site (CES) in the library provides video conferencing, technology training, small virtual offices, and a connection to the rest of the world via the SuperNet.
The results we expect:
- Olds will become the best place for Small/Medium Enterprise specializing in IT in Alberta
- The community will be a model for the region in information technology, rural development, and a culture of use
- Education for all in terms of access ... increased accessibility to education, particularly for those who have experienced barriers in the past
- Reduce the average age of the population to ensure growth
- Increase opportunity for youth
- Increase home based business providing flex time opportunity
- Increase the number of clean and green businesses
- Shift the types of employment opportunities
- Increase skilled employment opportunities
- Increase in overall Small/Medium Enterprise
- Increase average income of the community overall
- Retain and engage the retiring workforce
If you have ideas for technological advancements or any questions, please contact Chairman Joe Gustafson at email@example.com, joe.gustafson@O-NET.ca or call the OI Office at 403-586-4000.