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QNet fibre optic network now cash positive

by QNet News | Apr 15, 2014

COQUITLAM, BC, April 15, 2014 – Data isn’t the only thing flowing through the fibre optic cables running under the streets of Coquitlam. QNet, which leases out the unused capacity in the City’s fibre optic network, is now experiencing positive cash flow.

That means QNet is on schedule with its financial goals and can start paying back its start-up loan to the City. The City-owned utility has already saved Coquitlam $360,000 a year in telecommunications fees since it was incorporated in 2008.

“The day when the cash flow turns positive is an important day in every business and we are pleased to see QNet achieve that milestone,” said Mayor Richard Stewart. “However, the more significant benefit and primary purpose of QNet is making the City’s unused fibre capacity available to businesses, schools and residents. This is an example of our city embracing the digital age and the vitally important role that information technology will play in our community and in all successful communities.”

QNet leases unused capacity in Coquitlam’s carrier-grade fibre optic network to businesses, governments, and telecom service providers that offer high-speed internet, phone, TV and cellular to local businesses and residential highrises at some of the lowest rates in the country. The gigabit-plus capacity of the network means faster downloads and smoother video streaming, opening the door for telecommuting, HD video conferencing and security monitoring, virtual classrooms, telemedicine and other high bandwidth activities.

Coquitlam was the first municipality in Canada to lease out its unused fibre optic capacity. The City provided a $5-million 20-year loan to cover startup costs, with the expectation that QNet would reduce City telecom costs, generate economic development opportunities, and provide business and highrise residents with greater choice and lower-cost access to high-speed internet as well as be a future source of revenue.

Generating a surplus of more than $75,000 in 2013 – reflecting a 167 per cent jump in revenue over 2012 – QNet is on track to repay the loan on time with $2 million in interest, and to generate a profit of close to $11 million by 2037.

Today, most businesses and residential highrises in Coquitlam can access services from the eight telecoms that provide high-speed services through QNet. Wireless services and direct fibre-to-business leases will be the next area of growth.

“We’re just scratching the surface of what is possible with QNet, both in terms of economic development and the opportunities that high bandwidth access offers to our businesses, schools and residents,” said Peter Steblin, Coquitlam City Manager and QNet’s board Chair. “Two datacentres moved to Coquitlam last year to take advantage of QNet, and we’re seeing growing interest from telecoms, governments and businesses in leasing our fibre. It’s an exciting time for QNet.”

About QNet

The Coquitlam Optical Network Corporation (QNet) provides businesses, schools and residential highrises with access to Canada’s most competitive broadband services through the City’s state-of-the-art fibre optic network.

QNet leases unused capacity in the City’s carrier-grade fibre optic network to businesses, governments, and telecommunications companies (telecoms) that offer high-speed internet, phone, TV/video and cellular services to local customers at some of the best rates in the country. QNet also leases fibre directly to governments and enterprise businesses.

Incorporated in 2008, QNet is wholly owned by the City of Coquitlam and governed by a board of directors.

For more information about QNet, visit


For more information, contact:
John DuMont
Deputy City Manager, City of Coquitlam

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