OGHC Co-operative Internet Service

The Old Grace Board of Directors has adopted a co-operative Internet plan for our co-op. There were three objectives:

  1. to offer high-speed Internet access to members in their suites;
  2. at a lower-cost than members could obtain individually;
  3. while providing Internet access in the common spaces inside and outside our building.

All three objectives have been met and you will have your opportunity to sign up for this great offer when you sign your Occupancy Agreement.

The Offer

The board has selected WiBand Communications to install and manage our Co-operative Internet Service. The WiBand solution will provide secure, wireless, ultra-high-speed Internet services to residents – at a price well below market rates provided by either Shaw or BellMTS. Our contract spans the next seven years and is renewable at that time.

Internet services to suites will include:

  • unlimited data
  • ultra-fast bandwidth: up to 150 Megabytes per second [Mbps] download and up to 50 Mbps upload

This is very fast Internet – far beyond what standard residential plans provide!

In addition to receiving these services in our suites, residents will benefit from the same powerful wireless Internet in the common areas, including the common room space on the main floor, basement common use areas, the outside courtyard, the guest rooms, the library and other shared areas.

The Cost

A grant from Assiniboine Credit Union allowed us to lower the cost to establish our Co-operative Internet Service. And with the support of members who have committed to this service to date, the monthly fee for this service is $40 and could go lower as more sign on. Though it is not mandatory, we are encouraging as many households as possible to participate. To date, 41 households have indicated they would be signing on for this service.

The Implementation

The Internet fee will be added to our monthly charges when we sign our Occupancy Agreements and charges will begin on our occupancy dates. The board’s intention is to have the Internet service available on your move-in date. Even if you haven’t committed yet, you will be able to do so when you sign your Occupancy Agreement. Once Occupancy Agreements are all signed, the board will review the $40 cost estimate. If enough units will sign up that we can lower the cost. The cost of Internet services will be reviewed annually.

For More Information

Glenn Morison is our co-op contact on this project. He can be reached at: glenn@morison.ca or 204-298-7859.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is WiBand?

WiBand is a full-service Internet Service Provider with headquarters in Winnipeg. They have been providing high-speed communication services to large, medium and small enterprises in Western Canada since 1999. http://wiband.com/services/managed-wi-fi-solutions/

What does 150/50 Mbps speed mean?

This is very fast Internet. 150 megabytes per second of download speed and 50 megabytes per second of upload speed goes beyond what standard residential plans offer. All 60 units could be watching streaming video (e.g., Netflix) at the same time without compromising the system. And service will be consistent throughout the entire building.

Is this mandatory for all residents?

No. It is not mandatory. However, the more who participate – the lower the price for all.

Can I join later?

Yes. Residents can join at any time. As new members come and go, they will be able to sign up for this service and the fee will be added to their monthly occupancy charges.

Can I opt out?

Yes. You subscribe to a month-to-month service. If you wish, for any reason, to no longer use the co-op’s Internet, you may opt out.

How will the billing work?

Those who participate will have the charge added to their monthly occupancy charge, and payment will be expected monthly for continued access. We were further able to lower the cost by administering the monthly charges ourselves, rather than having WiBand invoice each household.

I am away for three months every year. Can I cancel and restart?

Our break-even calculations are based on year-round use and payment. We will need to cancel your access code while you are away, and the co-op may need to charge a fee to cover the cost of administration if people start and stop service. This hasn’t been determined yet. However, regular residential internet service has this type of limitation. We will develop a policy once we have some experience behind us.

What if it doesn’t work?

The system will be fully tested and functional before we occupy the building and before we receive our first bill. Once we occupy, WiBand provides support during regular business hours. If equipment ever has to be replaced, WiBand’s typical response time is three hours… and even shorter if the ‘fix’ can be done remotely. Members who are having difficulty with their Internet connection can call our Property Manager who is trained by WiBand. If the problem is still not resolved, the Property Manager will contact WiBand on your behalf.

How are we protected against increasing costs?

Unlike the market rate, which is unpredictable, we have locked in at a price that will remain consistent over the seven-year life of the contract. As long as we can make adjustments as someone unsubscribes from our Internet Service and others sign on, we expect relatively stable pricing over the next seven years, after which, we actually expect prices to drop.

Email

The WiBand service is limited to providing Internet access. They do not provide us with individual email addresses. If you currently use a web-based system such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, you will simply go to that page as you always have.

If you currently use the email account from your current internet provider (e.g. an address that ends in @shaw.ca or @mymts.net) then you will no longer have that account with WiBand. To have email, you can choose to set up an email account with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or a similar provider.  Again, we have volunteers who can help you if this is new to you.

Also, you can decide to pay a small monthly fee to your current provider to keep your access to that email address either for a transition period or permanently.  You will have to contact your provider yourself if you choose this option.

How can I sign up?

When the time comes to sign your Occupancy Agreement, you will be given the option to add Internet Services to your monthly occupancy charges. You don’t need to do anything in advance.

If you require more information, feel free to contact Glenn Morison at: glenn@morison.ca or 204-298-7859.