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Home » Technology & Innovation » Beaumont in Talks to Host One of Canada’s Fastest Fibre-optic Networks
John Stewart

John Stewart

Mayor, City of Beaumont

Beaumont, AB, is already establishing itself as one of Canada’s premiere innovation hubs. Now the city is poised to become one of North America’s first 10 Gigabit cities with the highest speed fibre-optic broadband internet infrastructure available commercially in the world.

The city is negotiating with a consortium that includes Jacobs and Florida-based Smart City Capital, LLC to build an ultra high-speed, open-access network in Beaumont beginning later this year.

“This is a game-changing development that will bring our residents faster and more reliable internet access while positioning Beaumont as a hub for tech innovation and knowledge-based businesses not only in the region, but across the country,” says Mayor John Stewart. “Whether people kept their business going with videoconferencing during the pandemic or created an online storefront, the last few months have demonstrated how crucial reliable and fast broadband internet is for staying connected and for our economy.”

The project would build a 10 Gigabit per second network with fibre to every home and business in Beaumont and provide the foundation for city-wide WiFi and 5G technologies in the future.

“Beaumont caught our eye when it hosted an autonomous vehicle pilot project last year, the first project of its kind in Western Canada,” says Ben Almond, Canadian Regional Director of Jacobs. “The city set itself apart from other communities with its willingness to take bold approaches in support of delivering innovative solutions to promote economic growth and further enhance the quality of life for all its citizens.”

The project would be structured as a Public-Private Partnership (P3), with a major investment from Smart City Capital, Jacobs leading the project design and delivery, and the City of Beaumont providing access to public rights-of-way for the fibre.

This will be an open-access network. Because any internet service provider will be able to access the 10-gig network infrastructure, it will drive competition and support greater consumer choice by allowing internet service providers to sell their products directly to homeowners and businesses

The contract is expected to be finalized in the coming months with construction starting shortly after. Jacobs’ plan is to source construction contractors from the Edmonton Metropolitan region, providing jobs for Albertans for the duration of the project. The first customers are expected to be hooked up within 12 months, with full project completion within 24 months.

What is an open-access network?

Traditionally in Canada and the United States, broadband internet infrastructure (the cables, fibre and other equipment that connects communities to the internet) is built and operated by the same companies that provide internet service. Open-access networks separate the infrastructure from service delivery, reducing the barriers for internet service providers to enter the market.

About Beaumont

With a population of approximately 20,000, Beaumont is the 5th fastest growing community in Canada and received City status on January 1, 2019. Beaumont borders the City of Edmonton to the north and is only nine kilometres east of the Edmonton International Airport.

About Smart City Capital

Smart City Capital is a global company formed by leading IT industry executives, highly experienced in the Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Service Provider (Backhaul, Small Cell, Cloud and XaaS), and Outcome Based funding solutions. Smart City Capital has developed a unique approach that allows organizations to select the best possible solution from all available options, without being limited by any one equipment or software provider. This approach puts communities’ and citizens’ needs ahead of any specific box providers.

About Jacobs

Jacobs is challenging today to reinvent tomorrow by solving the world’s most critical problems for thriving cities, resilient environments, mission-critical outcomes, operational advancement, scientific discovery and cutting-edge manufacturing, turning abstract ideas into realities that transform the world for good. With $13 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 55,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services including consulting, technical, scientific and project delivery for the government and private sector.

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