Fibre Centre launch
Another giant leap forward for Moncton's 'smart-city' ambitions
Greater Moncton carved another notch in its belt as one of North America's most competitive cities for enterprise and economic development on Friday, February 6 with the launch of Fibre Centre, the first "network-neutral colocation and interconnection facility providing a three-way junction point linking submarine and terrestrial dark fiber assets in Atlantic Canada."
And before you shrug your shoulders and mumble "uh, come again", the new technology works this way: For the first time anywhere in the region businesses of every size, complexity and stripe - along with public and private institutions, governments and public organizations - will have seamless access to the world through unused (ie., 'dark') fibre-optic cables which just happen to flow through Moncton.
The secret: There's a lot of state-of-the-art, digital pipe going begging these days, in these parts.
"Moncton now has a physical access point to the mass of fibre optic networks that pass through, but heretofore have not actually been able to directly interconnect with each other here," said Ukrainian businessman Uri Litvinenko, Fibre Centre's co-founder. "Facilities such as these have proven to breed economic development globally and we expect nothing less here."
Added the firm's other co-founder, American tech entrepreneur Hunter Newby: "Fibre Centre is a neutral meet point for networks of all kinds. We are not a carrier, or network operator, ourselves but rather (we) own the building, known as a 'carrier hotel', and provide the managed real estate environment, known as a 'meet me room', as well as data centre space, where all networks can colocate and openly interconnect with each other."
Four years in the making, the official launch attracted the cream of the crop of New Brunswick's business and political elite, who crowded into Fibre Centre's conference space in uptown Moncton.
The podium's VIPs included Ben Champoux, CEO of Greater Moncton's economic development organization, 3+ Corporation; James Lockyer, chair of 3+; Gaetan Thomas, CEO of NB Power; George LeBlanc, Mayor of Moncton; Newby; and Brian Gallant, premier of New Brunswick.
Said Gallant: "This is a phenomenal opportunity... We should all be very proud of this firm's decision to choose Moncton. Arthur C. Clarke (the late science fiction writer) once said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. I can tell you that Fibre Centre has a lot of magic."
For his part, Mayor LeBlanc noted that the news burnishes Moncton's reputation as one of the continent's truly smart cities. "All digital roads lead here... or, rather, almost all," he quipped. We, at the city, are happy to be Fibre Centre's first customer."
Moncton has provided an initial $40,000 investment to the new venture.