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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    home to a multicultural population of 5 2 million people who enjoy a high qualify of life access to culture and education superb infrastructure and a robust and diverse economy A highly educated technically proficient and creative workforce nearly 60 have some post secondary education has made Toronto a hub for finance corporate headquarters filmmaking call centers manufacturing and R D It ranks third among major North American metropolitan areas for the size of its information and communications technology labor force Multiple carriers have wired the Toronto area and made access to broadband and advanced services nearly ubiquitous Deepening the Broadband Revolution Beginning in the late Nineties the City of Toronto launched a number of projects to broaden and deepen the local impact of the broadband revolution Some focused on ensuring that the benefits of the Digital Age reached more citizens An intergovernmental committee from the city Ontario Province and the national government established an array of training research technology internship and funding programs A Kids Computers program focused on the children of disadvantaged families and succeeded in providing a home computer and basic training to 3 000 families in the GTA Government has also collaborated with the private sector to build a number of industry clusters focusing on wireless networks e learning e health and digital media as well as software for the region s traditional core industries such as banking insurance and manufacturing eCity Program Then in 2002 Toronto introduced its eCity program to improve both the internal workings of government and the delivery of services to citizens Some initiatives focused on making the City Council more efficient through better access to information and more transparent through better communication with citizens Others targeted service delivery with online permit applications and fee payments a non emergency call center for

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=264&prid=264 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    privately held technology companies It is also the home of companies that over the past eight years made up 10 of successful IPOs on the Toronto Stock Exchange Publicly held technology companies in the Waterloo region have generated a 26 internal rate of return since 1994 according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the original investors in firms that were acquired or went public have received more than a seven fold return on their investments Waterloo s leading technology companies today include Research in Motion RIM creator of the BlackBerry Sybase Open Text DALSA and Descartes Systems Group Today the University offers the world s largest post secondary co op program serving over 11 000 students It operates more than 50 research institutes 12 Federal and Provincial Centers of Excellence is a partner with the city region and nonprofits in developing a Research Technology Park But it does not stand alone Wilfrid Laurier University is home to one of Canada s largest business schools as well as the Schlegel Center for Entrepreneurship while the Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has earned a 1 ranking from the Province of Ontario for eight straight years Engaging Business Citizens and Government The community s second right thing was a local government that has engaged actively with business and citizens in planning for a prosperous future A Strategic Resource Information Plan developed in 1990 set the pattern for data sharing and integration among agencies and pointed the way toward the 1998 introduction of the award winning Internet based Waterloo Information Network Today Waterloo offers a wide range of online services from the minutes of council meetings and city program registration to tax assessment tools interactive GIS maps and marriage license registration In 2000 the city undertook a year long project called Imagine Waterloo This city wide public consultation aimed to determine the best possible future for the city Its recommendations ranged from environmental protection to transportation culture to city communications An Intelligent Waterloo Steering Committee formed in 2006 led by Jim Balsilie co founder of RIM Waterloo s Mayor and University of Waterloo President David Johnston stages events to educate business leaders academics and citizens about the challenges Waterloo faces and engage them in setting goals for educational achievement access to services investment in infrastructure and social inclusion Collaboration and Reinvestment The third right thing in Waterloo is a culture of collaboration and reinvestment Perhaps because cooperation among business academia and government has been so successful folks in Waterloo make partnership a priority and are eager to give back to the community Waterloo based Tech Capital Partners manages C 95 million in venture capital for early stage companies while a group of business leaders has recently launched Infusion Angels to find and fund ideas from University of Waterloo students and alumni UW and Wilfrid Laurier jointly run a Launchpad 50K Venture Creation Competition for students researchers and community members who develop business plans and start successful businesses Successful entrepreneurs have also reached into

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=256&prid=256 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    in 1998 Yet when polled in the late 1990s residents had strong positive feelings about their community and believed that it would become a substantially better place to live and work over the next five years The Western Valley Development Authority WVDA an economic development partnership of seven local municipalities plus provincial and federal governments believed that this attitude was a resource not to be wasted In February 2001 WVDA became one of 12 municipalities and regions awarded a Smart Community grant by Industry Canada to conduct three year demonstration projects as part of a national strategy to ensure Canada s leadership in information technology and innovation Planting the Seeds For Change Over the course of three years WVDA and its local communities introduced innovations in nearly every critical area for the Intelligent Community Plans were made to install fiber optic infrastructure to meet the Valley s connectivity needs With a small dispersed population the Valley had little hope of attracting private sector telcos to deploy a network Nonetheless with the support of cable TV power and technology companies an initial 44 kilometer network was deployed Other projects focused on Web enabling public information and services County library catalogs were put online creating a new local software company in the process Nova Scotia is home to Canada s unique Acadian population descendents of French colonists who settled there in the 1600s and the Centre Acadian launched an online genealogy project documenting family histories which is already playing a role in attracting more tourists to such festivals as the Congrès Mondial Acadien The Nova Scotia Community College introduced new information technology courses and a geographical information system called CLICK put 50 years of infrastructure data online making it possible for workers to use GPS linked laptops to precisely located underground water

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=268&prid=268 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    to secondary school students called Career Innovation Program that uses hands on multimedia to explore careers in technologies and trades simultaneously recruiting future students while serving the community Computers for Kids is a volunteer led program founded in 2004 which refurbishes computers and donates them to low income families The program has donated more than 1 000 computers and opened over 40 computer labs throughout Windsor Essex It has also recycled over 2 million pounds 900 700 kg of e waste that would otherwise have wound up in landfills Leadership in Government and Business If the educational institutions of Windsor Essex have provided the brains for transformation the elected leadership has provided the will The region s leading political official is Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis who was elected to office in 2003 on a promise to revitalize the city His administration has overseen the expansion of St Clair College the opening of the Caesars Windsor convention center hotel and casino and the creation of a Windsor International Transit Terminal In the process Mayor Francis managed to slash the city s long term debt by 27 while keeping city taxes low He has not worked alone He is one of eight Mayors in a county wide Council led by Tom Bain Mayor of the community of Lakeshore Close cooperation among the Mayors has led to shared service contracts that reduce costs It also helps individual projects to achieve multiple goals benefiting the county as a whole Despite the blows it has absorbed the auto industry remains important Ford has chosen to centralize worldwide engine research in Windsor to take advantage of its concentration of talent and the Windsor s Chrysler assembly plant remains the company s largest Tool die and precision manufacturing companies continue to serve these giants but have also diversified into fields as diverse as aerospace and dentistry Quantum Technologies is a private company that has adapted CAD CAM technology from the automotive sector to revolutionize the way dental implants are manufactured Traditionally crowns bridges and other implants are hand crafted and colored by skilled technicians Quantum Technologies equips dentists with handheld scanners and software which produce data for the company s digital design and manufacturing systems The resulting product is a better fit a better color match and can be produced in a small fraction of the time required for manual work The company now ships thousands of implants per week from Windsor Windsor Essex is also home to start ups that focus on the weightless cargo of information For an international roster of clients Red Piston builds apps that run on the iPhone iPod and iPad The firm s apps were downloaded more than 275 000 times in 2010 its start up year 52 Stairs Studio has produced Web applications including Scribble Maps which is used on large news Web sites and the Fox X game which has received over a million plays Innovation Under Glass Perhaps no company better represents the sheer ingenuity at work in

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=625&prid=625 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    customers to see their power usage and adjust energy habits to save money and reduce peak load The city has cut C 60 000 from its annual phone bills by switching employees from mobile phones to WiFi devices In addition to paid services the WiFi network provides free access to 18 Web sites of public interest including the resources of the public library which also provides free broadband access to patrons onsite Rhyzome and Festival Hydro are also extending WiFi coverage to utility customers in six rural towns and villages beyond the Stratford city limit This supplements a Rural Connections program funded by the province and has helped make broadband available to 99 9 of residents in the rural areas around the city The Breakout Year In October 2010 Stratford signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Waterloo to create a new campus in Stratford Beginning in September 2011 it will offer an undergraduate degree in Global Business and Digital Media and graduate studies in Business Entrepreneurship and Technology as well as Digital Innovation The project is funded by the city province and Federal government as well as by Open Text a Waterloo based provider of enterprise content management systems Headquartered in ICF s 2007 Intelligent Community of the Year the University of Waterloo has an international reputation in computer sciences math and engineering It operates the world s largest cooperative work program and its liberal intellectual property policies led to the creation of Open Text as well as Research in Motion maker of the BlackBerry The new campus will be home to two other major projects also announced in 2010 The Stratford Institute aims to be a think tank staffed with leading digital technology experts involved in research and development product commercialization and policy A new technology business incubator will provide office space support services and consulting expertise in finance accounting law product development and market That will complement the existing Stratford Perth Centre for Business where consultants offer training mentorship and financing programs in Stratford and surrounding communities These are major developments for a city of Stratford s size According to Mayor Mathieson When the full contingent of 500 undergraduate students is onsite it will bring a 30 40 million annualized benefit to the city including 300 jobs and 60 million in construction The long term gains are expected to be greater because Stratford is betting its future on digital technologies as a means to accelerate business start up and growth Entrepreneurial Foundations Stratford is already home to a number of tech start ups and is becoming increasingly attractive to technology operations seeking a new location Five young Web developers from Stratford and Toronto founded Conceptual Pathways to build Web based systems such as Bill Circle a collaborative bid management system for general contractors and their subcontractors trades and specialist services which drastically reduces the time and paper used to compile contracts and bid Perth County of which Stratford is the county seat has adopted the

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=623&prid=623 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    back in the state capital testifying before a commission on the issue of cross subsidies The incumbent had accused BVU of charging phone rates that were below its costs and making up the difference on other services The commission ruled against the complaint Finally after three years and 2 5 million in legal fees BVU had won the right to deliver retail communications Financial Success Spurs Growth As it turned out the private sector was right to fear competition from BVU Market research conducted by the company in 2001 suggested that 70 of respondents might switch telephone and television service from the incumbent operator while half might switch Internet service By August 2008 BVU s OptiNet FTTU service had captured more than 62 of the available residential and business market in its service area thanks to effective marketing to electric customers with whom BVU already had a relationship Despite millions of dollars of investment OtpiNet had reached financial self sufficiency on 16 million in net revenues in the 2009 fiscal year A 2008 study conducted for the BVU Board determined that OptiNet customers while enjoying the bandwidth bonanza of FTTU had saved nearly 10 million over incumbent competitors rates or special offers since the start of service The OptiNet service area was no longer limited by the city lines BVU entered into partnership with the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission in 2003 to build CPC OptiNet Managed by BVU the network began with a 45 mile fiber optic circuit reaching to Richlands Virginia funded by grants from the US government and the Virginia Tobacco Commission It grew gradually to 200 miles across four rural counties with the help of additional grants The Tobacco Commission distributes money paid to the state by US tobacco companies following the 1998 settlement of the largest class action lawsuit in US history BVU s success in designing building and operating the network led it to establish a business unit called BVU FOCUS which stands for Finding Opportunities for Communities throughout the United States BVU FOCUS offers consulting and management services to other entities that seek to build advanced telecom networks The unit s first customer in 2007 was MI Connection a telecom co op owned by two communities in the state of North Carolina Under BVU s management the 80 million network grew its customer base nearly 5 in its first year and exceeded budget by 27 Creating a Broadband Culture While the struggles of OptiNet make an exciting story Bristol did not become a fiber carrier in order to win competitive battles with business The city council s goal was economic and community development and though the network is still so new early results are positive BVU s extension of the network convinced two major companies CGI and Northrop Grumman to build multi million dollar facilities in a regional business park during 2007 Since the network extension was completed in 2007 185 businesses in the four county service area have become customers and two

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=301&prid=301 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    working partnership with each other the Chamber of Commerce and a dozen local organizations to bridge the education last mile With the help of 1 000 volunteers they deliver school to work programs to 15 000 secondary school students One program Reality Check lets students role play being a head of household at different levels of income based on their educational attainment As they simulate paying utility bills obtaining child care and making choices about transportation they quickly learn that a single parent with a high school diploma cannot afford to buy a sports car The two institutions have also partnered to help lower income students start their education at Chattanooga State and finish it at the University which can save the students tens of thousands of dollars Chattanooga State offers a full range of technical degrees in health sciences robotics mechatronics and other leading fields while the University offers a high quality College of Business programs in engineering computer science and math and the National SimCenter for computational engineering one of the world s pioneers in solving engineering problems through computer simulation The state of Tennessee ranks 48th out of 50 states in education but the percentage of Chattanoogans with bachelor s degrees exceeds the national average Putting Smarts into the Grid When electricity was first commercialized in the US the utility companies focused on America s largest cities where they could get a faster return on investment at lower risk The same would later be true of telephone service and broadband Chattanooga shares with many smaller American cities a valuable legacy of that earlier commercial neglect a local electric utility owned by the City Council The Electric Power Board EPB has delivered electricity to the city since 1935 telephone service since 2000 and Internet service since 2003 always with a mission to improve quality of life and economic opportunity for citizens A decade ago EPB began studying the installation of a fiber optic network to better control electric distribution The technology looked promising the business plan forecast that real time information from smart meters and distribution systems would let EPB reduce its transmission capacity by 40 while delivering a higher quality of service But fiber was too expensive to meet the utility s 25 year payback requirement EPB s technology team put the plan on the shelf and waited They watched as after the dotcom bust the price of optical fiber cable fell sharply then continued to decline year by year When the price was right EPB moved By the end of 2010 EPB had installed its network into all of the 170 000 businesses and homes in its service area With each fiber install went a smart meter able to provide real time data on energy usage at that location The meters are also capable of controlling energy hungry devices in the home or office as well but EPB is taking it slow in exploring their use Some smart meter installations in the US have been controversial

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=583&prid=583 (2016-02-12)
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  • Intelligent Community Forum (ICF)
    neighbourhoods remained troubled and the school system faced serious problems More importantly the economic environment in which Cleveland had to compete was changing fast The original advantages that had powered its growth were of little value in a knowledge based economy Academic Leadership Among the metropolitan area s assets however were strong government and nonprofit institutions including Case Western Reserve University Cleveland State University Cuyahoga Community College and Nortech These organizations teamed with the city the regional transit authority and other partners to form a nonprofit called OneCleveland now known as OneCommunity www onecommunity org Its mission to deploy a community based ultra broadband network in the metropolitan area and to build a new knowledge economy on its foundation The project was the brainchild of Lev Gonick CIO at Case Western The network was switched on in 2003 and today has a dozen institutional subscribers ranging from the city and the regional MetroHealth System to the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Orchestra Applications running on the network include high definition videoconferencing connecting Cleveland Clinic doctors to city schools for the delivery of healthcare best in class programs from the Cleveland Museum of Art delivered to branch libraries and a pilot wireless project with Intel to enable city and county inspectors to file and exchange data on building permits in the field In 2005 Intel named the greater Cleveland area as one of three Worldwide Digital Communities deploying wireless broadband applications to improve government and other services Human Factors Under President Scott Rourke OneCommunity has focused as much on human factors as technology The nonprofit has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from governments foundations and businesses to invest in technology training and network expansion A model program called Computer Learning in My Backyard or CLIMB focused technology and

    Original URL path: http://www.intelligentcommunity.org/index.php?src=news&refno=263&prid=263 (2016-02-12)
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