Internet rates decreasing for Alberta’s public sector

892fe777 e007 4edc a780 030050d789c0With recent news of Canadians facing rising bandwidth prices in 2015, and last month'€™s release of a US government report showing a lack of internet service competition in North America, Cybera is pleased to offer Alberta'€™s public internet users a positive start to the new year.

As of January 1, 2015, commercial bandwidth rates for members of Cybera's Internet Buying Group were reduced from $11.50 to $9.50 per Mbps. This rate decrease stems from a growing membership base in the buying group, which nearly doubled in the past year to reach 34 members. It also reflects a global trend towards lower internet costs.

This is the third major price decrease that Cybera'€™s Internet Buying Group has implemented since its launch in mid-2012. It was developed to achieve more equitable internet rates for Alberta'€™s public sector institutions, including K-12 schools, which make up 27 of the total buying group members. (The Group's original price of $14/Mbps came at a time when some Alberta schools were paying upwards of $150/Mbps.)

Cybera purchases bandwidth on behalf of the group from three Internet Service Providers, to minimize the chance of service interruption. As a not-for-profit organization, Cybera is able to set the price for members on a basic cost-recovery basis. This ensures that Alberta'€™s educators, students and budding entrepreneurs are competitive with their global counterparts when it comes to network and above-the-network services.

The buying group is just one service implemented by Cybera to reduce internet costs for publicly funded institutions in Alberta. It also offers a direct peering network service, which directly links members to major content sites, bypassing commercial internet links (freeing up, on average, 60-80% of their commercial bandwidth).

These savings are becoming ever more important as provincial government revenues fall. Programs that help public institutions share costs or services are vital for increasing efficiencies in spending limited taxpayer dollars.

Cybera is funded by the Government of Alberta and members to accelerate the adoption of advanced technology in the province. In one of its core roles, Cybera is the architect and guardian of CyberaNet, the ultra high-speed broadband network that connects Alberta'€™s post-secondary institutions and business incubators to the international system of research networks.