Thursday, March 26, 2015

Town council approves broadband steering committee terms of reference

Toni Lucas

During the regular meeting of  Pincher Creek's Town Council on Monday evening, March 23 council unanimously approved to adopt terms of reference for a Broadband Steering Committee. The Broadband Steering Committee is to work closely with the chosen consultant to develop a broadband delivery business plan.  The committee will be established until such time as a decision has been made to proceed or not proceed with a proposed fibre optics utility installation to serve households and businesses in town. Fibre optic broadband offers higher speeds for daily internet usage along fiber optic cables compared to the standard copper wires used in regular broadband connections.

The committee is to consist of three members of council, the Town of Pincher Creek CAO (Laurie Wilgosh) or designate, and Town Manager of Legislative Services (Gus Kollee) or designate. The committee will have the authority to approve the completion of each phase of the business plan development and subsequent phases, as per the contract proposal.

During the January 7, 2015 Committee of the Whole meeting the committee heard a presentation from: Craig Dobson of Taylor Warwick Consulting; Dr. Mark Wolfe Co-Director of the Centre for Information and Communications, Van Horne Institute, and the University of Calgary; and Bob Dyrda, Alberta SouthWest.

They spoke to the committee regarding the proposed broadband for economic development initiative. As a result of this meeting proposals were prepared for the Town of Pincher Creek. At the March 9, 2015 regular meeting of council, a resolution was carried approving the draft broadband business plan contract with Taylor Warwick Consulting.

Information relating to future planned infrastructure projects and the Town's geographic information system data will be provided in order to strategically plan potential installation opportunities. The committee will ensure that a thorough investigation of all government and public communications regulations are completed as part of the final report to Town Council.

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