New Westminster launches fibre optic broadband network initiative
New Westminster, BC – The City of New Westminster has launched an initiative to develop an “open access” fibre optic broadband network to foster connectivity and business development in the community. New Westminster’s Mayor and Council endorsed the initiative yesterday during a public Committee of the Whole council meeting.
“To attract knowledge-based businesses and remain competitive in today’s digital economy, cities must have affordable, accessible broadband infrastructure,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “High-speed broadband has become a necessity not only for the local entrepreneur to compete with big city players, but for students to access online courses, or community libraries to provide new media offerings to residents.”
The City’s fibre optic broadband initiative will see the installation of dark fibre to key business districts including downtown Columbia Street, Uptown, Sapperton, Queensborough and 12th Street corridors. The fibre network will be “open access”, allowing internet service providers to lease fibre strands from the City for connection and re-sale.
“This is a key part of our “intelligent city” strategy,” said Councillor Bill Harper, Co-Chair of New Westminster’s Intelligent City Advisory Committee. “A robust open access fibre network will mean ready access to competitively priced fibre optic broadband for both existing and new businesses as well as provide the foundation for our efforts to establish New Westminster as an innovative and digitally-inclusive community.”
New Westminster’s fibre optic broadband network initiative is a key component of the Intelligent City strategy adopted by city council in 2013 in response to recommendations presented by the Intelligent City Task Force in the fall of 2012. The City subsequently appointed an Intelligent City Advisory Committee of local citizens, stakeholders and city staff to put the task force recommendations into action.
To begin implementation of the network, city staff and the Intelligent City Advisory Committee will explore finance options, establish rates and guidelines, build partnerships, and begin construction of the fibre network. These steps are to be initiated and/or completed in 2015-2016. For further information visit www.newwestcity.ca/intelligentnw
Blair Fryer, Manager of Economic Development and Communications
City of New Westminster
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Alvin Chok, Chief Information Officer
City of New Westminster
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