Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 is funded by a grant from the Government of Alberta, as well as through membership and network administration fees. Cybera’s members receive an annual membership invoice in March or April of each year.
We also receive additional funding to pilot and operate add-on services for specific members or sectors. These services include Peering and the Internet Buying Group, the Virtual Firewall Service, as well as more work-intensive projects. For these services, Cybera may charge additional fees to the users, or look to third-party grants for cost recovery, as needed. For the list of Cybera’s Add-On Services, see our Memberships page.
Cybera’s roots are in the Western Universities Research Consortium Network (WURCNet), formed in 1994. From this, the western provinces evolved their own Research and Education Network organizations in 1999, with Netera Alliance set up to manage and operate Alberta’s network. Netera became Cybera in 2007, with an expanded mandate to accelerate technology adoption in the province through the use of digital infrastructure.
Membership is available to any Alberta post-secondary institution, K-12 school district, public organization (such as municipalities and libraries), or organization in Alberta’s start-up incubator community.
Different Cybera services and pilot projects are available to different members, depending on their location and sector. Cybera’s membership team can discuss with you what services are available to your organization.
Class A members are typically post-secondary institutions with a significant research mandate. These members help set the direction for Cybera as voting members at its Annual General Meeting.
Class B members typically include post-secondary institutions (without a significant research mandate), as well as K-12 school boards, and public and not-for-profit organizations. These members do not vote in Cybera’s Annual General Meeting, but have access to the same services as Class A members.
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.
Membership is divided into two categories. Each has a distinct annual fee structure.
|Type of Membership||Type of Organization||Annual Membership Fees|
|Class A||Post-secondary institutions with a significant research focus||$30,000|
|Class B||Organizations that are connected to CyberaNet with 500 or more FTE students or employees||$3,500 plus $0.50 per student/employee (whichever is greater) to a maximum of $20,000*|
|Organizations that are connected to CyberaNet with fewer than 500 FTE students or employees||$1,000 plus $0.50 per student/employee (whichever is greater)*|
* For municipality members the fees may vary.
FTE = full-time equivalent
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.
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.
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.
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.
This service makes use of Cybera’s direct connections with major internet exchanges to route internet traffic to peered sites.
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 traffic and commercial internet. 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.
The first step is to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will organize an introduction meeting to discuss how you can benefit from Cybera’s internet and firewall services. This will be followed by a discussion between your network technicians and Cybera’s technical team, who will guide the process from that point onward.
Getting set up for the Internet Buying Group, Peering, or the Virtual Firewall Service takes approximately 4 - 10 weeks, depending on your connection type.
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.
The duration of the contract agreement is one month. You can change the amount of bandwidth each month.
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors and merits a discussion with Cybera. We are a neutral organization and can offer advice on how to optimize the efficiency of your internet access.
Even if you do not connect to our network, there may be other reasons to join Cybera, such as access to advanced technology pilots and shared services. For more information, see our Membership page.