Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cybera?
What does Cybera do?
Is Cybera an Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
How is Cybera funded?

Membership

Why is there a fee to join Cybera?
How much does it cost to join Cybera?

Network services

Does my organization have to join Cybera to use CyberaNet?
What is the Internet Buying Group?
What is the Peering Service?
Which sites are peered?
How does the Peering Service work?
My Internet Service Provider also offers a peering service — what is the difference?
Can I sign up for either the Peering Service or the Internet Buying Group, or are they a bundled package?
What are the steps involved in joining the Internet Buying Group or Peering Service?
How long does it take to get set up?
What equipment will I need?
If I am currently in a contract agreement with an Internet Service Provider, should I still become a Cybera member?

What is Cybera? Cybera is a not-for-profit organization responsible for overseeing the development of Alberta’s cyber-infrastructure — the advanced system of networks and computers that was created by and for university research and now supports government, educational institutions, not-for-profits, business incubators and entrepreneurs.

 

What does Cybera do?
Cybera’s team of experts works behind the scenes to manage Alberta’s ultra-high-speed advanced research network — CyberaNet — which connects local researchers to some 100 research networks around the world.

Working with partners in the public and private sectors, Cybera is also leading ‘above the network’ projects in Alberta to pilot emerging technologies that help to build e-infrastructure to support the province’s economic growth.

Cybera provides member organizations with unbiased, highly skilled expertise on high-tech products, processes or services, and access to shared IT services.

 

Is Cybera an Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
No, Cybera is not an Internet Service Provider and never will be.

 

How is Cybera funded?
Cybera is funded by a grant from the Government of Alberta, project funding from the Government of Canada and annual membership fees.

 

Why is there a fee to join Cybera?
Cybera’s members pay an annual fee that helps support the costs of coordinating network and ‘above the network’ services across the many jurisdictions represented by Cybera members.

 

How much does it cost to join Cybera?
Membership is divided into
two categories. Each has a distinct annual fee structure.

 

Does my organization have to join Cybera to use CyberaNet?
Yes. When members join and are connected to the network, an Acceptable Use Policy is shared and signed as well. The network cannot be used for commercial gain.

 

What is the Internet Buying Group?
Through the
Internet Buying Group, Cybera aggregates internet traffic from participating member organizations and leverages this increased buying power to negotiate a reduced price for internet services for its members.

 

What is the Peering Service?
Cybera’s
Peering Service offers members a direct internet connection to major sites such as Google, YouTube and Facebook. When Cybera members use this service, their internet traffic to the peered sites is split from their other commercial internet traffic. By reducing the volume of commercial traffic, the Peering Service reduces overall internet costs for participating organizations. Testing has shown that commercial internet traffic can be reduced by 60%, on average, through Peering.

 

Which sites are peered?
Cybera directly connects to major internet sites such as Google, Facebook, Limelight and Youtube. To see the full list of Cybera’s peered sites,
click here.

 

How does the Peering Service work?
This service makes use of Cybera’s direct connections with major internet exchanges to route internet traffic to peered sites.

 

Can I sign up for either the Peering Service or the Internet Buying Group, or are they a bundled package?

You can sign up to receive only the Peering Service. It is available to not-for-profit and public sector Cybera members in Alberta based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students or employees of the organizations:

Less than 1,000 FTE — $50/month
1,001 – 10,000 FTE — $100/month
More than 10,001 FTE — $500/month

Cybera members who join the Internet Buying Group are automatically signed up for the Peering Service. As a member of the Internet Buying Group, all of your Internet traffic is sent to Cybera where it is split into peered and commercial traffic. If you are part of the Internet Buying Group, you will also receive the Peering Service provided to Cybera members.

Members in the Internet Buying Group receive a monthly invoice that reflects their portion of the group buy.

 

What are the steps involved in joining the Internet Buying Group or Peering Service?
The first step is to talk to one of Cybera’s Project Managers. Your network technicians will be asked to complete a technical questionnaire so Cybera can assess your current configuration and determine what needs to be done to get your organization set up. Then, a meeting will be arranged with our technical team. The technicians will direct the process from that point onward.

 

How long does it take to get set up?
Getting set up for the Peering Service or the Internet Buying Group can take as little as four weeks but averages about 8-10 weeks.

 

What equipment will I need?
To join the Internet Buying Group, you will most likely not need any additional equipment. Instead of connecting to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you will connect to Cybera, who will in turn split your traffic and direct the commercial portion of your traffic to the ISP.

To connect to the Peering Service, you must have a router in place that is capable of splitting your internet traffic between commercial internet and the Peering Service. There are a number of routers on the market that are compatible with this service and Cybera’s technical team can help you with equipment selection.

 

If I am currently in a contract agreement with an Internet Service Provider, should I still become a Cybera member?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors and merits a discussion with a Cybera project manager. Cybera is a neutral organization that can offer unbiased expert advice on how to optimize the efficiency of your Internet access.

In addition, Cybera offers other services that may benefit your organization such as access to the research and education network, called CyberaNet, as well as to expertise in emerging areas such as cloud computing and big data.