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Monday, January 28, 2008

Alberta Innovation Fund Invests $2M for Enhanced Rural SuperNet Access

The Alberta Government "Access to the Future" Fund has just announced a $2million SuperNet connectivity investment to a consortium partnership of Alberta social agencies. This innovative project is the collective effort of the Community Learning Network, Literacy Alberta and Volunteer Alberta. Full Disclosure, my firm, Cambridge Strategies Inc. was retained by the consortium to assist in developing the project design and proposal development.

The consortium project will focus on bringing SuperNet capacity and connectivity to communities and individuals throughout Alberta. Rural communities and groups who engage early will benefit the most from this investment because of enhanced community and individual access to the SuperNet.

Rural Alberta will have improved quantity, quality, convenience and access to a wide range of learning and other opportunities through this initiative. The project outcomes will ensure distance and time will no longer be a barrier. Access to the SuperNet will improve communication and connectivity capacity for groups and individuals all over Alberta, including and enabling more urban and rural networking .

The project will also provide technical resources and supports to enable an integrated and standard platform for the consortium to deliver enhanced Community Adult Learning Programs, Volunteer Adult Literacy Services and information and programs to Volunteers Centres across the province. Individuals and groups across the province will be able to use this enhanced SuperNet access and capacity for more sharing, networking, video-conferencing and holding web-based net-meetings.

This social entrepreneurial project will have spin off benefits that will also enhance rural-based businesses and professionals. By adapting and adopting the SuperNet technology connectivity, rural-based businesses will be able to grow and generate more opportunities. Rural entrepreneurs will have access tomuch larger markets because location will not be the limiting factor it used to be as time and distance is “virtually” eliminated through SuperNet access.

This project is going to be a paradigm shift that will add to the overall viability, vibrancy and quality of living in communities all over rural Alberta. Having a critical mass of population will no longer be a critical factor for continued community viability and sustainability as a result of this innovative approach to enhanced SuperNet access.