The City Fredericton, NB has received national recognition for its eNovations telecommunications company from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The City was presented with the 2014 Willis Award for Innovation, in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category, during CAMA’s national conference in Niagara Falls, ON. Ravenhill Group Inc. is the presenting sponsor for CAMA’s Awards of Excellence.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize the innovation and administrative excellence demonstrated by the City of Fredericton with its municipally-owned telecommunications company,” said Jean Savard, president of the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators and Director of Special Projects in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer for Quebec, QC. “eNovations has delivered ‘Intelligent Infrastructure’ to the community and is an important pillar of the City’s economic development strategy.”
The entity has received strong support from the City, local universities and businesses. These anchor tenants, together with innovative service offerings, have allowed for e-Novations to grow organically in directions that the community dictated. What started as 22 kilometers of fiber optics connecting the initial partners to each other and the Internet has grown to a network consisting of 300 kilometers of fiber.
In 2003, City Council implemented a free of charge, WiFi network called Fred-eZone throughout the city. Council felt an obligation to deliver intelligent infrastructure just like roads, sidewalks, etc. As network membership grew, Internet demands were aggregated allowing for bulk purchases of commercial Internet resulting in lower costs for everyone. By 2013, an independent study confirmed that e-Novations was offering the best value commercial Internet in Canada.
The e-Novations project has led to number of “living lab” projects all designed to assist and promote the new digital economy entrepreneur. In 2014, it will be announced that the network has achieved the status of a “Gigabit City.” By design, Fredericton is truly “Wired for Success.”
“The awards committee was impressed by all the submissions received this year,” said Glen Davies, Chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, CAMA Representative for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut, as well as City Manager for the City of Regina, SK. “We had 47 entries, so picking just eight winners was a challenge. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all those who took the time and effort to write their submissions.”
The Willis Award for Innovation, awarded in recognition of Jack Willis for his contribution to CAMA, is presented for programs, projects or services that demonstrate exceptional innovation or meritorious initiative. Because Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000. Certificates of Merit may also be awarded.
A Canada-wide network and the national voice of senior municipal administrators, the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) strives to nurture and build municipal administrative excellence by providing its more than 500 members with knowledge sharing and learning opportunities, access to best practices, and valued input into policies and programs aimed at ensuring healthy and thriving communities across Canada. www.camacam.ca