Coquitlam: B.C.'s fibre trail blazer


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In 2008, Coquitlam, B.C., became the first-ever municipality in Canada to lease out its unused fibre optic capacity to telecom service providers through the Coquitlam Optical Network Corporation — or QNet.

In this way, the fibre optic cables within Coquitlam power community services and also provide fibre to other companies in an indirect supplier relationship. The philosophy is simple — with the infrastructure there, why not provide the best framework for all who want to participate, and in turn improve their services? The best part, of course, is that the revenue feeds back into the community who uses QNet broadband, too.

In 2014, AEBC Internet Corporation, a Coquitlam-based company, started to provide service to some key City buildings on QNet’s network, capitalizing on the superior quality of Internet connectivity this would provide.

In fact, Coquitlam residents on the network are able to access unlimited 10 Mbps Internet for an incredibly low fee of $20 per month. This means city services and private household connections are all performing at increased speed and capacity on the network, making ultra-fast file downloads, instant streaming, and razor sharp HD viewing a regular expectation in Coquitlam. Overall, QNet has saved the city $360,000 a year since it first started up in the community.

They’ve even gone on to help out neighouring communities by allowing their companies to piggyback on QNet’s cable network, such that more accessible Internet is now available in Surrey, at the University of British Columbia, and even on Vancouver Island.