City of Fredericton Wins National Municipal Award for Innovation
June 2, 2014
The City Fredericton, New Brunswick, 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, Ontario, on May 28.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize the innovation and administrative excellence demonstrated by the City of Fredericton with its municipally owned telecommunications company,” Jean Savard, president of CAMA and director of special projects in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer for Quebec, said in a news release.
“eNovations has delivered ‘intelligent infrastructure’ to the community and is an important pillar of the City’s economic development strategy.”
eNovations has received strong support from anchor tenants including the City, local universities and businesses. What started as 22 kilometres of fibre optics connecting the initial partners to each other and the Internet has grown to a network consisting of 300 kilometres of fibre.
In 2003, City Council implemented a free WiFi network called Fred-eZone throughout the city. As network membership grew, Internet demands were aggregated so that tenants could make bulk purchases of commercial Internet services, 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 designed to assist and promote the new digital economy entrepreneur.
“The awards committee was impressed by all the submissions received this year,” said Glen Davies, chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, and city manager for the City of Regina. “We had 47 entries, so picking just eight winners was a challenge.”
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. Ravenhill Group Inc. is the presenting sponsor for CAMA’s Awards of Excellence.