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Vancouver event to examine how local municipalities across Canada are bringing faster, cheaper Internet to their communities

OpenMedia’s Josh Tabish will deliver a talk about the Connecting Canadian Communities municipal broadband project at event organized by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

WHAT: An upcoming Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) meetup event in Vancouver will examine how local municipalities across the country are bringing faster, cheaper Internet to their communities.

The event will feature a talk from Josh Tabish, campaigns director with OpenMedia, which recently launched a new platform at Community-Broadband.ca with the support of a grant from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. The platform highlights a number of municipalities in urban and rural communities alike which have successfully rolled out affordable, high-speed Internet, most often through deploying fibre networks.

Josh’s talk will examine lessons learned since launching the online platform, how it has directly affected communities, and the national implications of the project and municipal broadband initiatives in general.

WHEN: 5pm to 7.30pm, Tuesday February 28, 2017

WHERE: Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel, 1133 W Hastings St., Vancouver, B.C.

COST: The event is open to the public and free to attend. Attendees should register on CIRA’s website.

WHO: OpenMedia’s presentation will be delivered by its campaigns director Josh Tabish.

WHY: In December, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled that all Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class residential Internet services at speeds of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload. As part of the ruling, the CRTC set up a new $750 million fund over the next 5 years to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets.

To qualify, any new projects must receive financial support from government entities, including municipal, provincial, federal, and aboriginal governments. This means that there’s never been a better time for municipalities to invest in bringing their communities up to speed.

There are a number of advantages to municipally-run broadband, including:

  • Closing the Digital Divide: Municipal broadband is one of the best ways we can close the digital divide in Canada. It connects rural populations to state-of-the-art fibre networks, and levels the playing field when Big Telecom won’t invest outside the city limits.

  • Flexibility: While infrastructure is typically invested in by the local government, the municipality doesn’t have to sell Internet services directly. It can build the network and let other companies or community organizations sell services over it.

  • Affordability: There are examples in Canada where taxes didn’t need to be raised to pay for broadband infrastructure. For example, the profits from Olds, Alberta’s municipal broadband service O-Net are projected to completely pay off the community’s loans from the government within 10 years. Meanwhile the whole community in Olds benefits from faster, cheaper Internet.

QUOTES

“The Internet is an essential part of our everyday lives, yet right now we’re leaving millions of Canadians on the wrong side of the digital divide. Municipalities across Canada have a vital role to play in delivering faster, cheaper Internet to their communities. By working together at a local level we can ensure all Canadians can participate in the social and economic activities afforded by Internet access at a fair price.” - Josh Tabish, Campaigns Director, OpenMedia

“CIRA’s Membership are leaders on Internet issues from coast, to coast, to coast, making our meet-up a perfect opportunity to have OpenMedia discuss their work to highlight successful community broadband initiatives in Canada. This is an excellent example of how CIRA can play a role in generating new data on Canada’s Internet and convening candid and vibrant discussions on our digital future.” -          David Fowler, VP of Marketing and Communications at CIRA

 

CONTACTS:

David Christopher,

Communications Manager,

OpenMedia

+1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 0 / [email protected]

 

Ryan Saxby Hill

Communications Manager, CIRA

613-316-2397 / [email protected]

 

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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