Archive for the ‘Broadband’ Category

New FCC Initiative Confirms i-CANADA High-Speed Goal

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

i-CANADA Chair: “Canada must to return to global leadership level”

January 22, 2013 — Bill Hutchison, Chair of i-CANADA, said today that an FCC initiative to put 1Gps speed into at least one city in each state by 2015 “is another important initiative that demonstrates that i-CANADA is bang on in our goal for Canadian communications – we know what we’re talking about.”

i-CANADA is the national movement to create a nation of Intelligent Communities, all enjoying the economic prosperity and full employment that comes from immersion in the global “ideas economy”.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Friday last week, that he was starting a new push for fast networks that he called the Gigabit City Challenge.

Gigabit-speed Internet access stimulates technology innovation and associated economic growth, Genachowski said: “The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness,” Genachowski cited Google’s new network in Kansas City and a fiber network built by a local utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he said Amazon.com and other companies have created more than 3,700 new jobs over the past three years.

“Our Governors Council Resolution calling for 1Gps speed for all Canadians by 2020 is more than a realistic expectation,” said Mr. Hutchison. “It is an absolute necessity if we are to keep stride with the nations of Asia, Europe and Africa. Canadians need access to the kinds of services that the ultra-broadband networks deliver, and our knowledge industries need to use these networks to create the profitable sectors that others are obtaining.

“At the moment we are moving forward to expand our Governors’ Council to 100 members in support of the Motion passed by our Governors’ Council at our October Summit, to encourage the creation of a national coalition involving all relevant parties to create a plan that will ensure availability of 1 GBS service where relevant for all Canadians by 2020. The service must be globally competitive or better as to features, cost and performance in order to raise Canada to be one of the world’s leaders in communications infrastructure and services. We were there prior to and up to the 1980s.”

Recently, i-CANADA delegates met with Jean-Pierre Blais, the new Chair of the CRTC, to support his position on the importance of a more connected Canada. Blais brings a strong legal background and a comprehensive understanding of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors to his role at the CRTC. His goals are to:

  • Sharpen the Commission’s focus on the public interest—putting Canadians at the centre of their communication system
  • Give Canadians access to compelling and diverse, creative content
  • Ensure that Canadians can connect to innovative communications services at reasonable prices
  • Give healthy competition among multiple service providers

The i-CANADA delegation exchanged views with Chairman Blais’ about a consumer-centric, open network, from a 360-degree circle of interests, including novel financing methods, community networking, ultra-fast broadband, and large-scale urban development.

“It is clear that Canada’s global slide demands a new approach: consumer-centric access to diverse creative content over competitive networks,” said Mr, Hutchison. “We need to see Canada adopting the kind of high-strategy approach of the FCC.”

See also:

To find out the results of this meeting or to speak with a representative from i-CANADA, please contact Elaine Dean: elaine.dean@sympatico.ca

In other news:

IT World Canada

i-Canada pushing ultra-broadband plan

Group wants a broad coalition from the public and private sector to come up with a plan so every Canadian home gets 1 Gbps Internet access by 2020

With the long promised federal digital economy strategy nowhere in sight, a group of Canadian political, business and private sector leaders continues to push for an independent coalition to create the framework to build an ultra-broadband network.

Read the complete article here.

Kansas City Launches Gigabit City Summit

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Described as a “global dialog on smart and connected cities,” the Gigabit City Summit series aims to provide a platform for peer cities to exchange ideas and share critical factors in successful adoption and use of high-speed broadband.

Google Connects KC

On Wednesday, June 27th, local broadband talk in Kansas City went global early in the morning at the local Cisco headquarters. Gathering in a state-of-the-art telepresence room, city leaders from both sides of the state line joined a cadre of local and international strategists and smart city experts in discussing ways cities can become smarter by learning from each other.

That inaugural Gigabit City Summit was the first in a 12-part monthly series of teleconferences that will address how high-speed broadband can be harnessed to improve areas of civic life, including education, social justice, digital inclusion, urban innovation, workplace development, healthcare, entrepreneurship, and more.

Learn more here.

i-CANADA, IT WORLD Canada, Support “Intelligent Community” Sustainability Agenda

Friday, April 27th, 2012

New Partnership focuses on creating nation of Intelligent Communities: Asset Mapping, Vision Alignment, Regional Power, Crowdfunding, Ultrabroadband for Social and Business Networking

i-Canada Network

Toronto, April 27, 2012 -The launch of a new co-branded website for i-CANADA – www.icanada.nu – symbolizes an alliance between Canada’s largest B2B technology network and the leading movement for the creation of an “Intelligent Nation”, say the principals of the two organizations involved.

“IT WORLD Canada is now working with i-CANADA on issues that accelerate the creation of Intelligent Communities “ said Fawn Annan, President and Group Publisher. “Creating centres where digital inclusion, e-business, social progress, and community sustainability are driven forward in a unified agenda is the goal. The result will be community sustainability, in an era where ultra-broadband connectivity is the fundamental economic building block.”

i-CANADA co-Founder Barry Gander, EVP of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) added: “We recognize that high-tech is now in our DNA, to the point where the UN has declared high-speed broadband to be a fundamental human right. In other words, to be considered as a ‘human being’ today, you need food, shelter, and broadband.

Click here to read the entire announcement.

Touting the i-Canada movement – ‘It’s a global village and we all have to compete effectively.’

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

i-Canada Alliance
It’s been my great pleasure this week to extoll the virtues of the i-Canada movement and intelligent communities from the vantage point of this week’s i-Canada conference in Windsor. I was happy to speak to CBC Radio, and the coverage was subsequently extended to CBC News and Yahoo! Canada. Take a look:

Experts plan to make Canada smarter
i-Canada conference in Windsor aimed at making country more competitive on a global scale

Premiers, mayors and CEOs from communities across Canada will gather in Windsor this week to devise a strategy to make the country smarter.

The volunteer organization i-Canada is holding its advisory board meeting at Caesars Windsor on Thursday and Friday. The purpose is to encourage at least 50 Canadian communities to vie for the annual and international Intelligent Community of the Year Award.

Chair of i-Canada Bill Hutchison said the past 12 winning communities have experienced economic growth, increased employment and and improved social innovation immediately after the win.

Read the complete article here.

Join the the i-Canada Summit in Two Weeks!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


i-Canada Alliance
The i-CANADA “New National Dream” Summit at Caesar’s in Windsor on November 16-17, 2011 was originally planned as a smaller meeting of the i-CANADA Advisory Board. Attendance has grown beyond the original plan because of the interest by many who signed the Declaration on LinkedIn to create the i-Canada Alliance as a national movement.

Attendance now includes members of the i-CANADA Council of Governors, Mayors, dozens of Economic Development Officers, industry executives, academia, and community leaders in Health Care, First Responder, Creative Arts, Productivity, Human Resources, and other stakeholder groups.

Discussion and collaboration at the Summit is crystallizing around:

  • A unique quick Self Assessment i-CAT guide to map communities through the process of becoming more globally competitive as “Smart Cities”; it is the product of massive collaboration with industry , academic and i-community leaders such as IBM, Intel, FunctionFour, ING DIRECT, Miller Thomson, Rhyzome Networks, Ryerson University and the City of Windsor.
  • The ‘Growing Millionaires’ ecosystem model from New Brunswick: “We used to be known for potatoes and fish; now New Brunswick is a showcase for digital investments and green waves of wealth.”
  • Resource matchmaking between vendors and community leaders, to match the latest methods and services with the pressing needs of community officers charged with evolving their cities.
  • Dashboards that provide at-a-glance views of a city’s systems and operations.
  • Matching Toronto’s i-Waterfront Challenge of one gigabit per second bandwidth from your home and much more for business – and what it does for healthcare, the arts, policing, city administration and the need to keep up with the best.
  • Proven Processes and Best Practices for creating some of the world’s leading i-Communities.

The Summit in Windsor is definitely the place to be for anyone interested in supporting these goals and the i-CANADA national movement while trading ideas on how to transform their community into an i-Community … whether it is a region, a city or a smaller community … local or remote.

The IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities will be demonstrated and it is an important development for the transformation of community operations management in tomorrow’s communities. Think of a dashboard that allows for the monitoring and potential control of certain city operations from one central location. The IOC will be demonstrated with the i-CANADA Assessment Tools (i-CAT) in what will truly be an amazing world first. i-CAT has been created over the past year by an i-CANADA sponsored initiative comprised of seventeen leaders in community measurement and operations from the corporate, academic, research, consulting and municipal worlds.

i-CANADA is not just about technology and communications infrastructure although ICT certainly provides the foundation and we intend to continually promote the best and newest in ICT to become globally competitive. It is a great opportunity for our ICT companies too. IDC government Insights estimates that the Smarter Cities IT market is $34 billion in 2011 rising to $57 billion in 2014, and increase of 18% per year.

The Summit and the i-CANADA movement also promotes the other essential elements in an i-Community including effective marketing of the community, a focus on digital democracies and a wide range of creative and social innovations. Canadians from the creative and social sectors will be there to share their ideas for moving forward.
Broadband for rural and remote areas is an important one too so come and meet Suvi Linden who is flying in from Finland to speak. Dr Linden was Minister of Communications when her government was the first in the world to implement legislation declaring “Access to Broadband is a Fundamental Right”. Rest assured it will be a rich discussion of many opportunities when we meet at the i-CANADA Summit in Windsor. Everyone who supports the i-CANADA movement and wants to help their community’s transformation to renewed economic and social innovation should be there.

Waterfront Toronto Announces Major Ultra Broadband Initiative

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The work leading up to Waterfront Toronto’s major ultra broadband announcement yesterday has certainly consumed a good piece of my life over the last four years. In fact, the planning began in 2004 but the result will be a “Living Lab” to drive change through Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

Coincident with the signing of the agreements to create this world class community communications service, I have resigned from my executive role responsible for this project at Waterfront Toronto to spend more time as Founding Chair of i-CANADA. I will also be advising cities around the world on strategies for becoming Intelligent Communities that capitalize on the latest in computer and communications technologies to achieve improved economic and social innovation and growth.

The goal of i-CANADA is to help a large number of Canadian communities rise up to Intelligent Community status, thereby raising Canada to be an Intelligent Nation. Achieving this goal will reverse Canada’s declining international rankings in Innovation, Productivity and Broadband.

Following are two media quotes from today’s many press reports of yesterday’s announcement. The full announcement and background information can be found in the “newsroom” at Waterfront Toronto’s web site: www.waterfrontoronto.ca.


A speed-wired waterfront
Excerpted from The Toronto Star, published on June 7, 2011
by Patty Winsa, Urban Affairs Reporter

Imagine being able to download a full-length movie onto your laptop in eight seconds, watch your kids play in the park from the comfort of your condo or connect to the Internet from under an umbrella at Sugar Beach.

Waterfront Toronto announced yesterday that residents who move into one of the city’s new waterfront communities will have something no one else in Canada has at home — unlimited access to one of the fastest Internet networks in the world, WiFi and a one-of-a-kind community portal.

What it does: Provides unlimited residential Internet with download and upload speeds of 100 megabits a second, 500 times faster than typical North American networks. Movies download in eight seconds compared with an hour and a half through a phone line or 20 minutes via a cable modem.

It also allows residents to access a community portal on a TV, tablet or computer. The portal is in development, but could be used to make reservations at a local restaurant, or to see the view from cameras trained on public spaces.

Costs: Home users will pay $60 a month for Internet, WiFi and the community portal, a price guaranteed for 10 years. Upgraded packages, at $100, will include phone, Internet and TV. Business packages will start at $79 a month.

Read the complete article here.


by Christopher Hume
Excerpted from The Toronto Star, published on June 7, 2011

If that sounds like the stuff of every city planner’s dream, listen to Alan Vihant, vice-president of development at Great Gulf, who, with architect Moshe Safdie, is in the middle of putting together a large mixed-use project at the foot of Sherbourne St.

“This is a big deal for us,” Vihant enthuses. “Knowledge workers are going to demand that kind of service. They’re already used to living in high rises. They’re going to want to walk to work. They want to be close to Union Station and public transit. The next generation of workers all wants to live down here.”

Read the complete article here.

It’s time for Canada to become an Intelligent Nation!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Ten days from now, on June 3rd in New York, the Intelligent Community Forum will announce the 2011 Intelligent Community of the Year. The winner will be selected from among the Top 7 finalists remaining in the competition that began with more than 300 applicants. Once again this year Canada has two of the Top 7: Stratford and Windsor-Essex. Last year, we had Fredericton and Moncton in the Top 7. The fact is that the world’s leading Intelligent Communities have consistently had higher rates of economic development and employment growth than their neighbouring communities. They certainly are innovative communities and they attract foreign investment.

Canada has islands of excellence, as evidenced by our performance in the annual Intelligent Community competition. However, as a nation our international standings in innovation, productivity and broadband performance continue to decline when compared to other leading nations. The goal of i-CANADA is to reverse this trend by encouraging and supporting many Canadian communities to all rise up to international standards and compete to be the Intelligent Community of the Year. If they are successful, not only will our communities reap the rewards experienced by all other Intelligent Community winners, but Canada will become an Intelligent Nation as we string together our pearls of excellence into a national necklace of excellence.

Last Wednesday, May 18th I was pleased to Chair the Executive Panel on Technology Trends as part of CATA’s Annual Gala. The following video provides comments from panel participants and during the banquet I described i-CANADA’s growth over the past year following our announcement of i-CANADA at the same Gala a year ago.

More than one thousand individuals, companies and institutions have signed the i-CANADA Declaration; ING Direct and IBM have signed on as Diamond Sponsors; members of the Governors Council already include Hon. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick as Chair with a number of mayors and CEOs as fellow governors. Other Canadian leaders have joined the Advisory Council as subject matter experts and the Board of Directors is providing governance and guidance. Further information is flowing in the i-CANADA LinkedIn Forum, and I invite all interested parties in Canada to join the parade to raise Canada to Intelligent Nation status, while also raising our national broadband, innovation and productivity performance to once again lead the world.

CATAAlliance celebrates technology innovation, leadership at May 18th gala in Ottawa

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

The 26th Annual CATAAlliance Innovation and Leadership Awards Gala Dinner will be held May 18, 2011 at the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. The event celebrates the best of Canadian innovation and showcases the world’s most adopted technologies.

For over two decades, the CATAAlliance Innovation and Leadership Awards Gala Dinner has been celebrating the best in Canadian advanced technology. It has become one of the most eagerly awaited events in Canada’s business calendar. Award sinners are recognized for their innovation, expertise, and leadership in Canada’s advanced technology community.

Guest emcee Paul Brent, host of CTV’s Tech Now, will lead a Power Podium Panel including Sir Terence Matthews and other industry leaders, focusing on this year’s event theme of Technology Futures.

Get all the details here!

Usage-based billing opens up a much larger debate about public broadband

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The very serious debate about usage based billing on the Internet cannot be resolved by a mere “yes or no”. It is part of a larger issue around investment and who should be investing. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary by some in Canada, anyone who travels internationally, or reads credible international evaluations knows that Canada is well behind other countries when it comes to our global position with respect to the performance and related cost of public broadband in Canada.

It used to be that our incumbent public communications companies could make a financial return from their services, sufficient to support an investment that kept Canada near the head of the pack internationally. But, to use just one example, the ultra broadband services in other countries that facilitate interactive health care services into the home cannot be charged sufficiently by the communication companies to support the cost of providing a gigabit per second into homes at $60 per month, which is where other countries are heading. Today, the public can have 100 megabits per second in Stockholm, Tokyo, and many other cities, for around $50 per month. In Canada, the standard is closer to 5 mb/sec, with exceptions to 10mb/sec in some places.

The ever increasing opportunities for intelligent ultra broadband infrastructures have a public interest related to our economic and social development that our regulatory, investment and implementation strategies have to consider. We can’t merely start charging more to narrow our cattle paths when others are building super highways and charging less. Equally, we can’t lay all of the problem on the incumbent carriers as it is a broader issue. National economic and social issues are being impacted by our public broadband performance and this is a great opportunity for Prime Minister Harper and his Ministers to address the broader strategy.

Read more about this important issue here on the CATA Alliance Web site, in their statement entitled “CATA, i-CANADA Ask Prime Minister to Use Review to Create New Broadband Policy Model to Deal With Usage-Based Billing, Service Provision.”

Revitalizing city cores, reinventing Canadian society

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The following recent article in Backbone Magazine is recommended reading … if I do say so myself!

Revitalizing city cores, reinventing Canadian society
One of North America’s largest urban revitalization projects asks if high-end technology leads to the good life
By Trevor Marshall

October 13, 2010

Backbone MagazineImagine a brand new community designed around ubiquitous ultra-high-speed Internet access. Would the ideal online environment change the way its citizens live, work, innovate and interact? Canadians will start discovering the answer to that question in a couple of years when the first commercial and residential smart buildings open their doors at Waterfront Toronto, one of North America’s largest urban revitalization projects. It will start with George Brown College’s new Waterfront Campus, to be completed in 2012, and “people will start moving into the first condos in 2012 as well,” said Bill Hutchison, chair of Waterfront Toronto’s i-Waterfront Advisory Council and executive director of Waterfront Toronto’s Intelligent Communities.

Read the complete article here.