Bluewater Networks on track for completion of first phase

Subsidiary of Bluewater Power expects to have first customer by end of 2016

Paul West is business development manager at Bluewater Regional Networks.

Plans to create a local ISP with fibre as its operational backbone are on track, say officials with Bluewater Regional Networks, the local municipally owned operator that’s owned by Bluewater Power.

Key to the organization meeting its first phase objective of having the network complete the first phase of a three-phase plan by the end of 2016 is having Paul West, whose experience in the industry includes working with Rhyzome Networks, which is owned by the City of Stratford, Ont.

West’s role with Bluewater Regional Networks is in business development. an area that includes working with prospective customers as the organization gets closer to completing the first phase of its network infrastructure.

That is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, on schedule with plans that were announced about a year ago after approval by municipal shareholders, including the City of Sarnia.

While a first customer has not been disclosed by Bluewater Regional Networks, operationally the infrastructure is well on the way to being completed, with that first phase being a backbone that would include that first piece of business.

When plans were first announced for the business, a non-regulated part of Bluewater Power, the target customers were identified as commercial and those in the “MUSH” category—short for Municipalities, Universities, Schools and Hospitals.

West told Lambton Shield that there are two key benefits that come with the type of fibre network being constructed by Bluewater Regional Networks.

One of those is bandwidth—the volume of data that flows through glass fibre “pipes” compared with traditional copper. But the other is also important, the “latency” (or delay, often experienced in the form of an “echo” on the line) that is more typical with copper.

“A company might choose to have the same speed of data flowing but wants to reduce the latency they are having with an internet-based phone system,” said West.

Companies that ultimately hook up to Bluewater Regional Networks system will be able to choose a number of speeds, typically as high as 1 gigabyte per second, with a corresponding rate structure.

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