Sundre's Broadband Opportunity
There are several steps that must be achieved prior to deployment.
1) Survey of Fortis utility poles to determine which poles that would have fibre optics attached to them need replacing;
2) Replacement of poles;
3) Detailed deployment plan;
4) Agreement with internet service provider on revenue-generating financial compensation structure for access to the Town's fibre optic network;
4) Deployment (Year 1: aerial; Year 2: buried conduit).
Each step has a cost associated with it, and Council must decide at each step along the way whether it is worthwhile to continue. At the September 25, 2017 Council meeting, Council voted to defer a decision on moving forward with a Fortis pole survey until after the municipal election happening on October 16th.
View the final report from Bannister Research
Read the Report to Council for a full understanding of what is being proposed.
Copy of Sundre's Broadband Opportunity - Information Brochure
The Town of Sundre has partnered with Banister Research to conduct a census-level survey to determine:
a) the market demand for broadband fibre optics; and
b) which business model the public supports - a privatized network, or a publicly-owned network.
Surveys can be completed either online using a unique identifying number assigned to every household and business property, or via telephone. Surveys may also be completed at the presentation - be sure to bring the unique PIN that will be mailed to your household shortly.
A door-to-door campaign will be conducted near the end of the survey period to try and connect with households that did not have the opportunity to complete the survey elsewhere.
Sundre May 9th Presentation
Three presentations were hosted at the Sundre Community Centre on May 9th. Below is the presentation.
Do the Survey for your Household Right Now
Survey extended to May 24th
Only one survey may be completed per household. Doing the survey online will require you to enter an 8-digit PIN that uniquely identifies your home address. If you do not wish to conduct the survey online, you may call a toll-free number to conduct it with a live operator.
Phone #: 1-866-451-4441 (message service: leave message with your PIN and a date and time to call you back)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the Town considering becoming an internet service provider (ISP)?
- Absolutely not. The Town is only considering investing in infrastructure that private ISPs would pay the Town to have access to in order to sell you service.
- Based on third-party estimates, deployment would cost about $2.75 million.
- Yes. By the time the deployment would be completed over two years, every premise would be able to sign up for broadband service.
- If a minimum 33% of premises in Sundre sign up for service within 5 years, your taxes will not be affected. In fact, the service could generate operational profits.
- Based on existing rates in nearby markets, the expected monthly service fee would be in the range of $150 for a bundle consisting of high-speed internet, TV and phone services for home customers. Internet-alone service could be as low as $90 per month. Individual ISPs might charge a sign-up fee.
- Besides being a required infrastructure to compete in today’s modern economy, broadband will provide greater choice for consumers, increased capacity for business, and countless social benefits in the medical and educational fields.
Benefits & Risks of Public and Private Operational Models
Option A – Publicly-owned Wholesale Broadband Network
This option would require approximately $2.75 million in capital spent over four years. To generate revenue, it would involve selling access to the network to private internet service providers (ISPs).
The potential benefits associated with this option are the following:
a) If penetration targets are met, it will enable future Councils to utilize the profits generated from the network for the betterment of the community;
b) The network would remain an asset of, and in strategic control of the Town and community;
c) Millions of dollars in capital would not leave the community.
The risks are the following:
a) If penetration targets are not met in under 5 years, then tax increases might be required to cover the cost of operations and debt repayment;
b) The cost to borrow could impact the borrowing limit required for future projects.
Option B – Invite Private Company to Install Wholesale Broadband Network
This option would involve inviting a private company to install a broadband network in Sundre, using absolutely no tax dollars. The network would not be guaranteed and would be installed at a time and choosing of a company’s choice.
The benefits of such a model would be the following:
a) There would be no tax dollars used, and therefore absolutely no risk.
b) Municipal debt limit would not be affected for future infrastructure borrowing.
The downsides associated with this model are the following:
a) There would be absolutely zero dollars contributed to the municipality;
b) Strategic control of the network would remain outside of the municipality;
c) Millions of dollars in capital would leave the region;
d) Deployment by a private company could be years away.