Archive for June, 2011

Waterfront Toronto Announces Major Ultra Broadband Initiative

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The work leading up to Waterfront Toronto’s major ultra broadband announcement yesterday has certainly consumed a good piece of my life over the last four years. In fact, the planning began in 2004 but the result will be a “Living Lab” to drive change through Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

Coincident with the signing of the agreements to create this world class community communications service, I have resigned from my executive role responsible for this project at Waterfront Toronto to spend more time as Founding Chair of i-CANADA. I will also be advising cities around the world on strategies for becoming Intelligent Communities that capitalize on the latest in computer and communications technologies to achieve improved economic and social innovation and growth.

The goal of i-CANADA is to help a large number of Canadian communities rise up to Intelligent Community status, thereby raising Canada to be an Intelligent Nation. Achieving this goal will reverse Canada’s declining international rankings in Innovation, Productivity and Broadband.

Following are two media quotes from today’s many press reports of yesterday’s announcement. The full announcement and background information can be found in the “newsroom” at Waterfront Toronto’s web site:

A speed-wired waterfront
Excerpted from The Toronto Star, published on June 7, 2011
by Patty Winsa, Urban Affairs Reporter

Imagine being able to download a full-length movie onto your laptop in eight seconds, watch your kids play in the park from the comfort of your condo or connect to the Internet from under an umbrella at Sugar Beach.

Waterfront Toronto announced yesterday that residents who move into one of the city’s new waterfront communities will have something no one else in Canada has at home — unlimited access to one of the fastest Internet networks in the world, WiFi and a one-of-a-kind community portal.

What it does: Provides unlimited residential Internet with download and upload speeds of 100 megabits a second, 500 times faster than typical North American networks. Movies download in eight seconds compared with an hour and a half through a phone line or 20 minutes via a cable modem.

It also allows residents to access a community portal on a TV, tablet or computer. The portal is in development, but could be used to make reservations at a local restaurant, or to see the view from cameras trained on public spaces.

Costs: Home users will pay $60 a month for Internet, WiFi and the community portal, a price guaranteed for 10 years. Upgraded packages, at $100, will include phone, Internet and TV. Business packages will start at $79 a month.

Read the complete article here.

by Christopher Hume
Excerpted from The Toronto Star, published on June 7, 2011

If that sounds like the stuff of every city planner’s dream, listen to Alan Vihant, vice-president of development at Great Gulf, who, with architect Moshe Safdie, is in the middle of putting together a large mixed-use project at the foot of Sherbourne St.

“This is a big deal for us,” Vihant enthuses. “Knowledge workers are going to demand that kind of service. They’re already used to living in high rises. They’re going to want to walk to work. They want to be close to Union Station and public transit. The next generation of workers all wants to live down here.”

Read the complete article here.