Solving Municipal Broadband – City of Brooks (Part 4)

This is the final instalment in our four-part look at the City of Brooks' broadband journey. You can click to read Parts 1 and 2 and 3 of this series.

With construction slated to begin in April 2022, the City of Brooks looks forward to launching BrooksNET soon.

The City learned many important lessons during its broadband journey, including:

  • It takes a leap of faith – municipalities should expect to learn a lot and figure out the answers to questions as they go; solving an unconventional challenge of this magnitude requires innovative problem-solving (i.e., the process is not linear).
  • Determine if you want a wireless or fibre network at the onset – while there are pros and cons to both types of network, knowing which one you want will help an organization better engage the market, compare options, and achieve its desired outcome(s). 
  • It takes an entire organization – nearly every area of the organization has been involved in this project, including its Chief Administrative Officer, Public Works, Information Technology, Legal, Communications, among others.
  • Having a funding partner was critical to ‘making the numbers work’ – the winning proposal was submitted by a group/consortium that included a financial partner. This made the project financially feasible for the municipality.
  • Specialized expertise is critical to navigating the complexities of this project – particularly the legal and contracting aspects, as many types of agreements were required ranging from construction, co-ownership, service level, among others
  • This is a transformational project for the City of Brooks, and officials hope it makes their community more livable and attractive to residents and businesses alike.

Executing a broadband project is a significant undertaking, which is why Alberta Municipalities is showcasing these projects. The association recently passed a resolution calling on the provincial government to develop a broadband strategy.

Please click here to read part 1part 2 and part 3 of the series. Stay tuned for our next feature. For more information, please contact DanB [at] (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth & Innovation.