December 13, 2018
New Partnership Closer to Offering High Speed & Fibre Optic Internet to Growing Winnipeg Metro Region
WINNIPEG - December 13, 2018 - Mayors and Reeves from METRO municipalities surrounding Winnipeg moved another step closer to offering high-speed and fibre optic Internet service today, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two industry-leading strategic partners.
"Most municipalities surrounding Winnipeg don’t have access to reliable, future-ready Internet and communications services," said Colleen Sklar, Executive Director of the Winnipeg METRO Region (WMR), an organization recently tasked by the Province to deliver economic development funding and programming throughout the Region. "There are many opportunities to connect communities to the digital economy and, once complete, this project will help the WMR make an even larger economic impact.”
The MOU was signed today by JohnQ Public Inc., the WMR’s economic development corporation, and two well established local and national Internet service providers – WireIE and RFNOW Inc. The regional fibre optic project – Connecting to Opportunity – is a prime example of how JohnQ works and what the WMR can accomplish through this new collaborative business model. “Business owners, industry and residents all rank high-speed services as their top priority,” said Reeve Brad Erb of Macdonald, Chair of the JohnQ Board. “Bringing the right partners to the table is the critical next step to building a cost-effective, sustainable and competitive broadband network that will allow the Region to attract good companies and good jobs while also servicing the needs of residents.”
Next steps in the process between the strategic partners include:
- Finalizing the business model;
- Completing the design of the network;
- Negotiating with other stakeholders;
- Developing and recommending the final broadband service offerings for end users; and,
- Developing and recommending an open access model for 3rd party ISPs to promote competition.
"WireIE is excited to help design and implement a carrier-grade broadband network,” said Rob Barlow, President & CEO. “WireIE overcomes constraints around geography, time and budget, to break through barriers that traditional legacy networks can’t address. We will meet and exceed latency, bandwidth and service assurance requirements with our partners.” Based in Virden, Manitoba, RFNOW Inc. has a depth of knowledge and experience working with under-served communities like those in the WMR. “Given our large infrastructure, network and training program, we are confident in our ability to help the Winnipeg METRO Region hit the ground running,” said Chris Kennedy, COO of RFNOW.
Through JohnQ, the development of high-speed Internet infrastructure is being explored for 43 under-serviced communities in the 13 member municipalities in the METRO region surrounding Winnipeg. Many are shovel ready which means construction could commence as early as mid-May 2019.
Ray Bouchard, President & CEO of Enns Brothers Ltd. and Chair of Enterprise Machine Intelligence & Learning Initiative (EMILI) offers his congratulations to the Winnipeg METRO Region. “This is an important step in advancing more productive and sustainable agriculture in the region,” he said. “Farm operations, businesses and residents need consistent access to high-speed Internet to implement the kinds of intelligent technologies that will inform and accelerate the agriculture sector and the Manitoba economy.”
July 12, 2018
Fibre Optics - Connecting to Opportunity
On Thursday July 12, 2018 local leaders gathered at the East St. Paul council chambers to review the findings of the recently completed Fibre Optic Feasibility Study. This detailed 1500-page study commissioned by the newly formed JohnQ Public Impact Incorporated - a municipally owned development corporation - outlined the business case and feasibility of the project. By undertaking the development of a shared fibre optic network across each participating community, Internet connectivity will be provided to all residents and businesses alike.
Most municipalities outside of Winnipeg don't have the fibre optic infrastructure that provides fast, future-ready internet and communication services that residents need; and they can't provide the advanced supports that business and industry look for when expanding or relocating.
Today’s economy and changing workforce requires access to fibre optic networks. With many Internet service providers offering fibre optic networks in communities where the population density supports their business models, this leaves many communities with low-speed and limited bandwidth often at a considerable cost.
Over the next few months through JohnQ, the leaders will explore several options and possible opportunities as they develop a full financial strategy and investigate all options available for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region communities to achieve its goal of connecting communities to create economic opportunities in a way that is affordable for everyone. Further information on this exciting initiative will continue to be shared as it becomes available.
Participating communities include:
- RM of East St. Paul
- RM of Headingley
- RM of Macdonald
- RM of Ritchot
- RM of Rockwood
- RM of Rosser
- RM of St. Andrews
- RM of St. Clements
- RM of St. Françis Xavier
- RM of Taché
- RM of West St. Paul
March 23, 2018
The Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region has a new name and a new outlook.
Welcome to the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. We are growing and evolving, based on our strengthened spirit of collaboration, so Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region (PMCR) has adopted a new name and a new look. The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region that reflects the importance of our strong centre city – Winnipeg – and the unique character of the surrounding communities that make us a more exciting, productive and a desirable place to be.
Since 1998 The Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region (PMCR) has brought the regions leaders together to tackle the many challenges of municipal governments. In step with the region’s long history of enterprise and innovation, the Mayors and Reeves have broadened their collective vision and are announcing a new name to reflect this perspective.
The communities across this region are strongly inter-connected and we are learning how to benefit from collaborative action. Colleen Sklar, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region stated “our new name reflects this evolution and aligns us with other metro regions in Canada and the rest of the world. These places are finding ways to effectively work together to solve a wide array of challenges allowing them to be more resilient and adapt to fast-changing landscapes. We will do that too.”
From its inception in 1998 by Winnipeg Mayor Susan Thompson and a group of pioneering Capital Region leaders the PMCR has continued to evolve while staying focused on the job at hand, creating the conditions for good growth, good stewardship and good governance.
The Winnipeg Metropolitan Region represents 18 municipalities including and surrounding the City of Winnipeg. “The current leaders around the table see more opportunities than ever before to collaborate, this allows to not only meet the needs of our communities but to maximize the full potential of this growing metropolitan region and the Province of Manitoba” said Frances Smee, Reeve of Rosser and Co-Chair of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.
“Whether you live in Winnipeg or the surrounding area, we are all connected, our kids go to school together, play sports together and attend events, regardless of the municipality we live in, our communities have moved beyond political boundaries. It is time now for policies and politics to catch up”, said Co-Chair Janice Lukes Councillor for the City of Winnipeg.
We are embracing a renewed spirit of partnership, allowing us to join the roster of other competitive regions such as the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, Denver Region and Calgary Metropolitan Region. We are joining a movement that reflects the values of our historical roots and ensures that our future will remain true to them.
Moving in step with regions across Canada and the globe requires that we build better relationships, adopt sound frameworks and pursue opportunities that encourage partnerships. This will allow us to realize our full potential, to be competitive, and a place where local businesses expand; where new businesses come and set-up shop and where the environment is protected for future generations. This is the mission of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.