Alberta launches SUPERNET broadband initiative

Guest Contributor
November 29, 2000

The Alberta government has awarded a $193-million contract to a consortium led by Bell Intrigna to build Alberta SUPERNET, a high-speed broadband network connecting every hospital, school, library and government facility I the province. In a related deal, the Alberta government has also committed to spend $169 million over five years with Bell Intrigna and Bell Nexxia for a variety of communications services that will ride on the new network. The contract is for five years, with an option to renew for an additional five years. The three-year SUPERNET project will result in an advanced network in which the government is the anchor tenant but not the owner and includes the province's vast rural areas. The Bell Intrigna consortium includes Cisco Systems, Microsoft Corp, Nortel Networks Corp and 360 Networks, as well as four Alberta-based firms: AXIA Netmedia, Total Telecom, Wi-LAN and Netricom. Funding of the SUPERNET consortium coincides with the federal government's decision to proceed with a national broadband initiative. In October, Industry Canada announced the creation of a National Broadband Task Force headed by Univ of Waterloo president Dr David Johnston to advise government on the best way to make high-speed broadband Internet services available to businesses and residents in Canadian communities coast to coast....

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