September 6, 2017

At the August 2017 AAMDC Board of Directors Meeting, Service Alberta representatives provided an update on the progress of selecting a new operator and the development of a new operating agreement for the Alberta SuperNet. As this process is not yet complete, the information that may be shared publicly is limited. With this in mind, Service Alberta has provided the AAMDC with the following update to share with members:

SuperNet: The Way Forward

As part of Service Alberta’s commitment to ongoing communications with respect to SuperNet: The Way Forward, we would like to update you on our progress to-date.  As you are aware, the current SuperNet operating agreement expires on June 30, 2018, and Service Alberta has been actively completing an open and competitive procurement process to enable government’s direction for SuperNet 2.0. This has included:

  • A competitively tendered vendor prequalification in 2016 that has resulted in three SuperNet Pre-Qualified Respondents: Axia (Consortium), Bell Canada, and Telus Communications Inc.;
  • A series of stakeholder engagements, most recently beginning in the summer of 2016;
  • A Confidential Pre-Qualified Respondent Meeting process - running from the spring of 2016 through to summer 2017 - to explore the technical and service delivery requirements for future SuperNet services and, based on government direction, help inform a final SuperNet Request for Proposal (RFP); and
  • Government of Alberta (GoA) review and approval of the direction for SuperNet 2.0.

 

Following this extensive work, and government decisions on direction for SuperNet, an RFP was released to our three Pre-Qualified Respondents on August 17, 2017.

The RFP is scheduled to close on October 12, 2017 following which we will be undergoing a thorough evaluation process prior to contract award. While the RFP release period is currently set at 8 weeks, there is a possibility that extension requests may keep the procurement open for a longer period of time. That said, Service Alberta’s intention is to have a new contract in place before the end of 2017.

The GoA’s number one job continues to be ensuring service continuity for our public sector, including municipal offices using SuperNet across the province. We are also looking at ways to positively impact rural connectivity as part of SuperNet’s future direction. While we cannot openly discuss this procurement or direction while the RFP is open, we will be providing additional updates as we complete the procurement and move forward with SuperNet 2.0 later this year. We have greatly appreciated the engagement of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) throughout our work on the future of SuperNet, including the joint survey of your member communities, and look forward to continuing this open communication channel.

Our government also shares municipal views regarding the importance of broadband connectivity and its role in making life better for Albertans. As part of our mandate, Service Alberta has worked extensively with other jurisdictions, internet service providers (ISPs), the federal government, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to communicate the need for a national broadband strategy, while also assisting Alberta community leaders and ISPs with applications for federal Connect to Innovate grants. We have also communicated our support for AAMDC’s 2017 resolutions regarding the need for a national broadband plan and further municipal engagement with respect to broadband connectivity. In that light, and in addition to the time constrained work needed to meet our deadlines for SuperNet 2.0, the GoA will be working with both the AAMDC and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) to gather input towards broadband options for Alberta.

The AAMDC will continue to work with Service Alberta on this issue and share further information with members as it becomes available.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Wyatt Skovron
Policy Analyst
780.955.4096

Kim Heyman
Director, Advocacy & Communications
780.955.4079

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