Olds: The first to offer gigabit Internet

Olds, AB.

Featured Community Broadband Leaders

Olds is a winning case of a community taking the Internet into its own hands.

This Alberta community is running O-Net, their very own community-owned and operated Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, and setting a high bar for municipal Internet utilities around the world for over six years now. Municipally-based broadband has really put Olds on the map.

The town, located roughly 90 kilometers north of Calgary, has even started to attract tech-savvy entrepreneurs away from its big city neighbour. And no wonder, as Olds boasts service fees that are half that of Calgary’s major telecom providers, offering super fast gigabit for as little as $57 per month. For comparison’s sake, Bell and Rogers offer slower services that average between $115 to $226 a month.

O-Net’s services also expand beyond just Internet, now including phone and IPTV services (movies on demand with stop and play features). In Olds, this subscriber-friendly, small-scale network is the clear choice, and an example to be followed by others.

This Internet innovation has done a lot to boost community wellness and economic prosperity in the town of Olds. Through their Internet, voice, and TV self-sufficiency, Olds has been able to funnel million of dollars in funds back into its own community.

With the help of a $2.5 million Government of Alberta grant, Olds has put together an impressive network based out of the town library, extending outward to Olds College — where enrollment is steadily climbing. It’s campus wifi is premium quality, enough so that all textbooks are web-based and read on iPads provided to the students. Not bad for a school that less than a decade ago was struggling to give Internet access to full classrooms.

And the best part? The Internet in Olds is truly people-driven. The O-Net website puts this best, encouraging potential subscribers to: “help pave the way for your future, and the future of many generations to come. You, the citizens... own this story.”