OSTN – May Newsletter

Owen Sound Technology Network – Newsletter

Launch Pad

The Network took to the road on May 23rd holding our meeting at Launch Pad – Youth Activity and Technology Centre in Hanover, ON.   http://www.yatc.ca/ Bernie Blakeney, Manager of Programs and Innovation, provided the group with a tour of the facility which was transformed from an old auto dealership.  The main building has a collaboration art space, computer lab, commercial kitchen, high bay open area and a new welding area.  There is another annex building for automotive and small engine programs. Bernie is pretty passionate about Raspberry PI and has helped the youth design console video games in one of the tech programs.   The commercial kitchen is a great space. Not only do they run classes there but they rent the space to local food producers so they can produce in a facility that lets them sell to retailers. Bernie told us a 12 year old started a local cookie company and is selling to the local coffee shop. What a nice boast to local entrepreneurship.  The welding area got me excited. Not because I am a big welder but because it was a space for learning a skilled trade.  There is a lot of work out there for skilled trades but there are limited avenues for youth to get engaged in them early.  Welding is an art in the nuclear industry and there is a prime employer in the neighbourhood. Bernie then told us of the social benefits of the centre.  The youth crime rate in Hanover has dropped considerably since the centre opened.  Launch Pad was also a component to Grey County’s bid for the Intelligent Community Forum prize.

We finished up our meeting at Launch Pad with some MacLean’s beer locally crafted in Hanover.  If you haven’t tried MacLean’s you really should! http://macleansales.ca/

Big Data in Owen Sound

I met with the dean Dale Schenk and business manager Lise Mollon at Georgian College a few weeks back for a brief introduction.  I brought up to them our first meeting and the fact that the group felt that the college would be a difficult partner in developing content that would encourage technology growth in the area.  The dean indicated that 2 changes in the Owen Sound campus would help.  First a full dean not an associate dean has been added to the college.  Previously the campus was always run by an associate dean which had less autonomy from the Barrie “mothership”.  Second a business manager position was created and filled.  I spoke of my idea around private industry, the municipality and college being the catalyst for technology growth along the same lines as the Waterloo model.  The dean indicated the campus would like to be a participant.  The college offered to host a meeting and continue our discussions.

A day or two after my meeting I read in the paper about Rolls Royce opening an office in Port Elgin to support Bruce Power.  I found out that Rolls Royce has a large presence in the nuclear industry.  One of the services they will provide Bruce Power is a data and analytics package that allows better maintenance and obsolescence planning.  This fits with the data analytics Rolls Royce does on aircraft engines, and could have an application in the marine industry as well.  I started connecting dots between Rolls Royce, Marine Industry, the marine simulator data, the electronic records of the hospital, the manufacturing data we collect at 10in6, basically “Big Data”.  I fired off an email to Lise suggesting these connections and a potential course offering.  I was greeted by a reply that indicated a Data Analytics program has just started to be offered in Barrie.

http://www.georgiancollege.ca/academics/full-time-programs/big-data-analytics-bdat/

Could this be a program that Owen Sound offers, or even better becomes a leader in, I’d like to see it happen.

May 23 Meeting Notes

  • We had 10 people out to the meeting in Hanover. 3 new faces!  2 from Hanover
  • Discussed new ways of promoting the area and technology
    • Profiles on the website of members
    • Website improvements, pictures
    • Russ is interested in building some video content around technology and the area.
    • Guest bloggers to add relevant content
    • Video conferencing meetings – we are prompting technology and ability to be connected anywhere, this would be a good demonstration
  • Discussed meeting frequency
    • October – May monthly meetings alternating between a social networking meeting and a guest/topic focused meeting
    • June – September – meeting every other month topic or social
  • Discussed network and direction
    • Continue to evolve the network but focus on promoting/encouraging technology individuals and business to come to the area will be a core mandate

Next Meeting – July 25 – Bluewater Angel Investor Group – Stan Didzbalis

Upcoming meeting – September – Georgian College

 

Bluewater Angel Investor Group Looks to Invest in Technology Locally

The Bluewater Angel Investor Group recently launched and is looking for entrepreneurs that need assistance (funding / mentoring) to grow their businesses.

Here is a recent Sun Times article with more details about the angels.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2017/05/04/demand-high-for-business–angels

Stan Didzbalis spokesman for the group will be speaking at our next meeting in late June / early July.  Stayed tuned for the date.

http://www.bluewaterangels.ca/

Cheers, Mike

Panel Discussion at the Home Show

Russ from CTRE Productions is live broadcasting from the Home Show this weekend.

At 2pm on Saturday myself, Steve Furness Senior Economic Development Officer at Grey County and Greg from Sunfish Solar will be participating in a panel discussion on encouraging local business growth.

Watch live here:

http://www.ctreproductions.com/home-cottage-expo-2017/

Cheers, Mike

 

CRTC – Internet Providers – Competitor Quality of Service

Many of our members are customers of small internet service providers.  These providers currently have no choice but to use the existing infrastructure of the big guys.  These providers strive to provide a high level of service that meets or exceeds that of the big guys. Here is a chance for you to voice your opinion about new rules about to be set out by the CRTC.

Thanks to Iain for bringing this to my attention.

Cheers, Mike

As you know, we care a lot about our customers. And we spend a lot of time troubleshooting and improving our customer service. It’s at the core of what we do. But some of that lies beyond what we can do ourselves: it depends on rules set by the CRTC.

Well, we’re writing to ask for your help about issues we know matter to you — because we believe that sharing your story with the CRTC will make a real difference.

What’s this all about?

As you know, TekSavvy serves most of its customers over leased last-mile facilities. It goes like this. We pay incumbents a rental fee to use their line into your home. We interconnect that line with our Internet and phone networks. And we provide Internet or phone service to you over the combined system.

Most of the time, that works out. On rare occasions, it doesn’t. Now — as in, right now — the CRTC is asking for the public’s views about fixing two problems:

  • Renting the incumbent’s last-mile means renting their install and repair services for that last mile, too.  But the CRTC has few rules about how many no-shows or how fast those installs & repairs happen.  Shouldn’t it?
  • When the last mile is fibre in a new building or development, we still can’t lease it.  There’s a plan for that to change once a long list of technical questions is worked through.  Eventually.  But what happens in the meantime?

If either of these has ever affected you, frustrated you, or moved you, it’s time to tell the CRTC about it. Here’s how.

By end of this Monday (April 24): installs, repairs et al.

Until 8 p.m. Ottawa time this Monday, April 24, the CRTC wants to know what it should do about what it calls “Competitor Quality of Service” – rules on things like how many install visits are missed, how many repairs are delayed, how long last-mile service delays can last, and so on.

We know how often issues like these frustrate our customers. Well, this weekend, or Monday, are the time to tell that story to the CRTC.

They’ve boiled down what they’re looking for into a series of questions, and are looking for folks to type answers into an online form.

We’re asking you to click to that form Here are some of the main questions and our takes on them (all of which are posted at the bottom of this document, known as Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2017-49):

Q2. Are market forces sufficient to ensure a high level of service or are Q of S regulatory measures required?

Market forces are the status quo — no rules. If those have meant frustration for you, here’s where you tell your story. How many times did you wait? Did you have to take the day off work? Why did it suck? Specify that you’re answering question 2.

Q3. If a competitor Q of S regime is required, what should its objectives be?

We don’t see why a TekSavvy customer should have to wait any longer than an incumbent customer for an install, for a repair, or for service. If you agree, say so — identifying that as your answer to Q3.

Q10. What specific services should be subject to the regime?

We think the last-mile lines we lease should be — it’s the link that we flow your Internet and phone services over. We call that “Wholesale Network Access”, if you’re looking for a term. Don’t forget to note you’re answering Q10.

It’s clunky. But it could make a huge difference. Consider stepping up.

By end of next Monday (May 1): fibre me up?

Is fibre the only Internet access option where you live? But you want your ISP to be an independent, like TekSavvy?

If you’re moving to a new building or development, we can’t lease the last-mile fibre there. Eventually, we will. But it’s taking an awfully long time. How much longer? To be honest, noone quite knows.

Well, until 8 p.m. Ottawa time next Monday, May 1, the CRTC is asking for comments that either support, or oppose an application by our industry association, the Canadian Network Operators Consortium (CNOC) to expedite wholesale access to fibre where there are no other options, so we can quickly fill service gaps in vigorous competition.

Tell the CRTC that competition matters to you, and that you want them to break down the fibre wall, not eventually, but soonest. The fill-in form to that is here.

Gang, we wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important. This time, it really is. The CRTC’s asking, so if you’re answering, now’s the time.