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Brooks – The Brooks broadband project continues to move forward and has recently made some significant announcements regarding progress. It has been announced that the new fibre optic network being built in co-operation between the City of Brooks and Community Network Partners Inc. (CNPI) will be called BrooksNET. Aside from the name announcement, project financials and construction timelines have been shared and a website and social media channels have been launched to keep interested parties up to date on progress.
The total project cost is budgeted at over $20 million with the City of Brooks’ portion of the capital cost at $5.4 million and the remainder being funded by an investment from Crown Capital. Brooks’ contribution is funded from the Gas Tax Fund and covers the construction cost of the backbone of the fibre optic network to be owned by the City. Crown Capital will be responsible for construction and ownership of the distribution network and the necessary network equipment that connects customers from the distribution system to the backbone.
BrooksNET will be an open-access fibre optic network after an initial exclusivity period. Many people have come to think of it in comparison to a more traditional municipal service – roadways. The owners build and own the roads, and any transport or taxi company is permitted to drive on the road. Similarly, the City will own the backbone network and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have access so they can provide competitive high-speed internet (1 Gbps), telephone services, and television to residents.
Construction will begin in April (weather permitting) and it is expected that during the 2022 construction season a significant portion of the network will be built and ready to use. As sections of the network are complete and pass testing and quality control tests, that portion of the network can be turned over to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to attract customers. Full build-out is expected to be complete in 2023.
As the network becomes operational and customers start utilizing it, there will associated operating costs along with revenues. The City of Brooks will receive $10/month/customer that accesses the network, regardless of which ISP the customer utilizes. The network will be maintained and operated by CNPI and any costs to the City of Brooks will be covered by the revenues received. Financial projections for the next twenty years, along with information about cost safeguards have also been made available for those interested.
When complete, BrooksNET will be capable of delivering up to 10 Gigabytes per second (Gbps) to every household and business in Brooks. With this project, the City of Brooks will become one of the first 10 Gbps rural communities in Canada, positioning itself as an attractive location for knowledge-based industries and residents who value affordable high-speed connectivity along with a well-balanced life rooted in community.
For more information about BrooksNET, visit BrooksNET.ca or contact:
Bruce ThiessenIT Supervisorbthiessen@brooks.ca 403-362-3333