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Development Broadband Project

Broadband Project

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In 2018, Clearwater County received $200,000 matching grant under Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program of the Economic Development and Trade Department, and is in the process of developing a Broadband Strategic Action Plan, which will help connect more businesses to the internet, create jobs and benefit the broader rural community development.  
 

Broadband Policy

Council adopted a municipal broadband policy with the following principles:
  • developing an Open-Access Network of broadband infrastructure to provide Internet accessibility to majority of County residents and businesses;
  • developing a phased project plan, to construct and implement the OAN and broadband infrastructure;
  • endeavouring to contract a Network Service Provider to operate OAN; and
  • not providing end-user internet services, rather investing in OAN in an effort to encourage competition from ISPs.

Public Engagement

In the fall of 2017, Council conducted a Clearwater County resident and business demand survey. Click on the links below to view the survey results and summary presentation by Banister Research.
Click here to review the Public Participation Plan for the Broadband Project.
 
In an effort to work towards a solution in the best interest of the community as a whole, Council hosted three public open house meetings in May of 2018, as well as meetings with local internet service providers (ISPs).
 

Additional Resources

 

Project Update

Last fall, Clearwater County Council reviewed a draft broadband infrastructure masterplan and directed Administration to conduct further research on options related to broadband project implementation. More time and additional details are required to assist Council in their decision-making around how to best proceed with enhancing broadband in the County.

Clearwater County’s broadband business plan is also currently under development and is expected to be before Council sometime in the New Year.  In order to be prepared for federal and provincial grant applications, Council also recently directed Administration to proceed with preliminary engineering for a 2020 project, once broadband priority options are selected. In the New Year, Council will be reviewing additional pieces of information and broadband options and from there develop a broadband implementation plan.

Council also eagerly awaits the Province of Alberta’s release of their Provincial Broadband Strategy and related Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant funding, and any other broadband-related grants that may follow.

At this point, Clearwater County Council’s vision remains constant in terms of the desire to improve broadband capabilities in the region. The broadband business and implementation plans are still very much in the conceptual stage. Council believes strongly in transparency and intends to engage further with stakeholders and the public again in 2020.
 
During their regular meeting on May 26, 2020, Council directed Administration to move forward on contract negotiations with the successful proponent for Design Build/Network Operation Request for Proposal (RFP) - Broadband Service Delivery Near Ferrier Acres. To read the full news release, click here.