Sundre's Broadband Opportunity
Note: On Monday, March 12, 2018, Sundre's Town Council voted to discontinue work toward the public or P3 network ownership options.
Craft and issue a Request for Proposal or Expression of Interest from potential investors interested in deploying a private network in Sundre. This will be occurring during April, 2018.
Prior to March 12, 2018, below is information that was conducted on the potential development of a public/P3 ownership option.
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 were completed either online using a unique identifying number assigned to every household and business property, or via telephone. Surveys were also be completed at the public presentations.
A door-to-door campaign was also 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 9, 2017 Presentation
Three presentations were hosted at the Sundre Community Centre on May 9th. Below is the presentation.
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, plus the cost of replacing the Fortis utility poles.
- Yes. By the time the deployment would be completed over two years, every premise would be able to sign up for broadband service.
- We've estimated that 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.