Multi-Phase WiFi Build By Bruce Telecom Delivers First Summer of Access
September 13, 2017
Bruce Telecom, which is owned by the Corporation of the Municipality of Kincardine, has completed two phases in a four-phase WiFi build in the community. The latest happened on April 5th with the launch of a public WiFi network in downtown Kincardine. That coverage is a one-kilometer stretch down Queen Street, from Broadway Street to Victoria Park, where the first phase was completed.
Bruce Telecom (BT) is currently in phase three, the WiFi build at Station Beach and Marina, which is expected to go live in June. A future phase will be located at Macpherson Beach and is currently in the planning stages.
Amedeo Bernardi, the Chief Operating Officer at BT, discussed why Kincardine, a small community of 6,725 decided to step out with an ambitious four-phase WiFi build.
“One of our goals is to improve the tourist experience in Kincardine, by providing a user-friendly good capacity, carrier-grade free WiFi network,” said Amedeo Bernardi. “Providing an additional method for businesses to promote themselves and allowing the Municipality and Business Improvement Association (BIA) to communicate are key aspects of the project.”
“Another key goal is to provide Bruce Telecom customers the best experience, so that any Bruce Telecom subscriber can access the network whether they are at home or shopping in downtown Kincardine. It certainly gives us a larger footprint, and it allows us (BT) to differentiate our services from the competition.”
Bruce Telecom is over 100 years old and was launched in 1911 as the Bruce Municipal Telephone System. The company has over 80 employees and offers coverage from Kincardine North to Saugeen Shores, up to Owen Sound along the shores of Georgian Bay and inland to Paisley. BT has been on the forefront of launching services to the Grey-Bruce area, such as high-speed internet, digital TV and is one of the first fully-digital multi-exchange telephone companies in North America.
With this project, Bruce Telecom has strategically positioned Kincardine towards becoming an Intelligent Community and seeking a designation from the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), thanks to the support of Hamilton’s Clearcable.
The ICF is a world-wide think tank with a membership of more than 160 cities and regions around the globe, including 31 in Canada. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology to create inclusive prosperity, to tackle social and governance challenges and to enrich their quality of life.
Clearcable had been doing support work with BT for years.
“Their contribution has been invaluable,” said Bernardi. “We asked Clearcable to do an engineering study and design to see what a public WiFi build would entail. They gave us great support. They did an analysis and put forward several designs for us to choose from. They sourced the equipment we needed and informed us of possible vendors we could go to.
“Their designers and engineers speak directly to ours rather frequently. Clearcable is a professional firm, who always goes beyond what we ask to get the job done.”
The Municipality of Kincardine is partially funding the project, along with the local BIA, and BT. The cost for the build will be approximately $150,000.
Adam Ross Hill is the Director of Technical Operations for Clearcable, and credits the entire team at Clearcable for the support of the Bruce Telecom’s build.
“We try to help companies understand all the complexities of the build,” said Hill. “We have been working on this project with Bruce Telecom for over a year. It touched every facet of our 40-member team. The Clearcable members spearheaded this in partnership with the groups at BT from inception to delivery.
“Every deployment is unique, but our methodology is the same.”
In the past Kincardine has attracted over 7,000 people on a summer Saturday night to the downtown core. Look for that number to climb this summer. The WiFi build at Station Beach and Marina should certainly add more people.
“We believe that the word will spread quickly to boaters that when they come into Kincardine and dock there, they can check whatever they need to online before heading out, thanks to our carrier-grade WiFi network,” said Bernardi. “It will make us a more unique port of call.”