Solving Municipal Broadband: Red Deer County & Village of Delburne (Part 2)
This is the second part in this series about broadband access for Red Deer County & the Village of Delburne. If you missed it, you can read Part One here.
When Red Deer County began its broadband journey, it wanted its high-speed Internet network to be able to support municipalities within its boundaries.
In practice, this meant building the County’s fibre-optic network toward populated areas so that projects to service them could then be undertaken. And over time, municipal projects would be completed to run fibre-optical cabling to buildings and households, or to construct wireless towers that were connected to the fibre-optic network, eventually serving the region.
Shortly after Red Deer County started building its network, they identified an opportunity for the Village of Delburne to become its first regional partner. For only $1.25 million, Delburne could run fibre-optic cable to every building and home in the community. While this was a large expenditure, it cost about 50% less than if the Village were to provide this service to residents and businesses on its own.
It took the Delburne’s Council less than five minutes to agree to the partnership, and the Village funded its share of the project with funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and a short-term debenture.
Enabled by Red Deer County, Delburne was able to provide high-speed internet with little or no impact on taxpayers, and the Village is already reaping the benefits. Not only is Delburne experiencing an increase in home sales because people can work remotely in their community, but the Village is attracting more interest from prospective businesses that are looking to move into the region.
The third and final article in this series will provide insight into lessons learned and the project’s outlook. Please click here to read part 1 and part 3 of the series. For more information about this and other broadband initiatives, please contact danb [at] abmunis.ca (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth and Innovation.