Solving Municipal Broadband – Town of Vermilion (Part 1)
The Town of Vermilion brought broadband to its residents and local businesses, undertaking one of the most advanced broadband projects in rural Canada.
The Town’s broadband journey began in 2017. As part of the Vermilion River Regional Alliance (VRRA), it was able to secure a grant to research the feasibility of bringing internet services to its area.
A key outcome of that assessment was helping the Town garner a license from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, enabling it to become an Internet service provider.
Using their license, and $300,000 in grant funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), the Town conducted a pilot to validate the need for more sophisticated broadband services. Ten businesses registered to be part of the pilot project, which subsequently proved there was an opportunity for the municipality to play a role in bringing broadband services to the community.
Economic development was one of the main reasons behind Vermillion’s push for high-speed reliable Internet. Not only do many local organizations rely on the Internet for their daily operations, but inquiries from offshore businesses looking to set up office(s) in their region were often stifled due to a lack of reliable Internet connectivity.
In partnership with the Alberta Broadband Network, the Town undertook a project to bring Internet powered by a fiber-optic network to its municipality. Vermilion contributed $2.4 million to this project, which is valued at more than $10 million.
Please contact DanB [at] abmunis.ca (Dan Blackburn), Senior Director of Growth & Innovation, for more information.