Olds Approves New Residential Subdivision

Town Council has recently given approval for further planning and the first phase of construction on the “Richardson” subdivision located in a recently annexed portion of south west Olds. Phase one of the Area Structure Plan that has now been adopted which will allow for the new Catholic School and related collector roads.

In  addition  phase two calls for the development of 109 housing units. The remaining phases provide  for the staged development of approximatley  870 residential units comprising  the various densities associated with Ri,R2. and R3 zoning. This sub division  has a ten to 15 year development horizon.

Olds Fibre to Premise Test Project

The Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development(OICRD) through its Technology Committe is proposing a test project for later this summer. The test purpose is two fold. Firstly it will allow  for the laying of  a quarter inch pipe rather than the more conventional two inch pipe. By testing the pipe  size which contains the the fibre cable the Committee can determine the technical and financial feasibility  of using the smaller pipe for the entire project.

Secondly the test also will enable the Committee to evaluate  the performance of the construction and management team that has been chosen . It will also give the Committee an accurate gauge for the entire project.

One of the underlying principles of the The Fibre to the Premise intiative is that the community will own the fibre infrastructure and that the Technology Committee will actively seek an internet service provider (ISP) that would provide broadband internet access. It is anticipated that the ISP would pay for using the fibre highway and the Committee is in negotiations with a number of providers. In addition by owning the Network the community will be in a more advantageous position to advance the Towns  economic and social amenities to the Canadian market place.

Olds & District Marketplace and Lifestyle Show May2&3

This annual trade show is jointly hosted by the Olds Agricultural Society and the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce. It  will be held Saturday,May02  from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm as well as Sunday, May03 from 12 noon to 5:00 pm  at the Olds Sportsplex located at 5133-52 St. Olds.Ab. The admission is $4.00 per person with children five  and  under FREE.

Food and beverages will be available  on site at The Olds Kiwanis Club’s concession.  I will working  at the concession from noon to three both days so come on down and visit  me at the  Trade Fair. See you there!!

Potential Economic Development and Real Estate Impacts of Olds FTTP Project

So what does this mean for Olds?  Here is one persons opinion (mine)

My technology motto/credo is “I do not know what I do not know” but intuitively I believe the Fiber to the Premises project (FTTP) means the potential for a huge internet play for Olds residents and businesses and has tremendous economic development potential for the town and trading area.

My reasoning is based upon five years of direct involvement through being a founding member on the Board of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OI).  The FTTP project is the brain child of the OI Technology Committee and has been championed by Joe Gustafson as chair.  The FTTP network, with its huge bandwidth and speed of uploading and downloading will provide Olds with the ability to have the triple play of voice, data and video at our door step.   It will be up to us as individuals or businesses to capitalize on it and explore “what we do not know.”

The potential economic development impacts as I see them can be seen as follows:

–  It could give Olds a leg up in terms of strategic advantage for the Town as compared to any community on Alberta’s “Highway 2 Corridor.”

–  It could gives OI the opportunity to create a technology based cluster of development (i.e Sillicon flats). The cluster could include both technolgy driven companies as well as those companies that need exposure to new technologies to enhance their productivity;

– It could provide the impetus for the development of some sort of unique incubation/commercialization entity for small and medium size business (SME’s) and supported by the development of an Angel/Venture Capital network (again the Sillicon Flats example).

– It could provide Olds with the opportunity to further capitalize on the graduates of the School of Innovation at Olds College.

Based on these concepts, the Business and Investment Attraction Committee (of OI) of which I am the chair, is currently exploring how we might promote this fiber capability based on the premises of  location, location, location and may be seen as follows

–  In terms of proximity to the Calgary Internation Airport (45 minutes away), we could prospect businessess who benefit from both technology and easy access to national and internation travel.

–  Prospecting the Corridor market from Calgary to Edmonton for the entreprenerus that can utilize the benefits of fiber connectivity.

–  Exploring how the local real estate market  could be impacted positively by this connectivity in terms of increased economic activity created by companies and indivudals moving to Olds.

 —  Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.

 According to Joe Gustafson ‘the Olds  Fiber to the Home (FTTH)project will provide a future-proof telecom infrastructure so Olds residents can obtain the latest Small Office/Home Office and entertainment services and the fastest residential and business Internet service in Canada. The network will be designed to accommodate more than one voice, data and entertainment service provider. A study of the US FTTH market found the average homeowner sees FTTH being worth an additional $4000-$7000 (US) per home in the future resale value of a home.”

–  In my view the FTTP can become our ‘economic oyster” as its benefits will contribute to our quality of life.  This means that living in a small town does not automatically disqualify any one from the latest of technology but perhaps in fact give access to the leading edge, rather than ‘sucking the hind tit  (translation availabe for those of non-agricultural background) which has historically been our fate.

–  Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.

I may be dreaming but I believe this will be Olds’ opportunity to leap forward.

These are just of my opinions.

Your thoughts and ideas are welcome.

Olds AB Fiber To The Premises (FTTP) Project Launches

The Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development,  through its Technology Committee, has initiated the FTTP project in Olds,  with the intent of making the dream of a SuperNet connected community a reality.  The FTTP is a 100% fibre-optic based communications network for local residential and business customers.  Fiber-optics are very tiny strands of glass/plastic that are bundled into cables and used to transmit information coded in pulses of light.  The network is proposed to be installed throughout the community by burying cable in the ground and hanging cable on utility poles.  It will be built past every home and business in the Town of Olds.

The Network willl provide customers with access to the triple play of voice (telephone) video/television and internet.  The Networks chief advantages are expected to be in terms of improved quality of services, expanded HDTV channel offwerings and faster internet downloading and uploading for much the same cost as existing providers.  The Technolgy Committee is currently working with a number of licensed internet service providers.

At this time, the Institute has retained the services of FIOPT Communication Services which is a network planning and design and consulting firm specializing in fibre optic networks to design the Olds Network.  “The FIOPT contract will provide the Committee with accurate numbers on the total meters of conduit and fiber required for the network, plus details on the actual number of single family residences, multi family facilities and businessess, both store front and home based operations,” states Chairman Joe Gustafson.  “This will allow us to move quickly to obtaining firm quotations for the actual installation work, hopefully commencing later this spring.”  For further information see http://www.oldsinstitute.com/tech.html