Canada’s largest cloud service provider is the first to sign on the City of Kelowna’s dark fiber network. RackForce was started in Kelowna in 2001 and has now branched out to offer services to many customers nationally and internationally.
Dark fiber refers to unused fiber optic cable. The City’s dark fiber offering has no limits on bandwidth, so organizations such as RackForce can move large amounts of data at high speeds for a flat monthly fee to the City of Kelowna.
Kelowna is among a handful of cities in B.C. that offer dark fiber to businesses and institutions. Combined with the Okanagan lifestyle, this affordable telecommunications infrastructure makes Kelowna an attractive place to start-up, grow or relocate businesses that need to move large amounts of data.
Over the past six years, Kelowna installed a 13 kilometers backbone of fiber optic cables between 11 city facilities for a cost savings of about $155,000 per year in telecommunications bills. The network was purposely over-built to include extra optic fiber that could one day be leased to businesses.
Fiber optic networks are helpful for customers that have massive amounts of data to move. The City does not provide phone, television or internet service on this fiber, but can provide a dedicated high-speed connection from one point to another on the City fiber network.
RackForce took an interest in utilizing Kelowna’s dark fiber as they provide internet service for larger customers requiring data capacity of 100 Mb per second to one Gb per second.
Use of dark fibers allows RackForce to bring world-class cloud services to local business at significantly lower costs for Internet and other IT services connected to the new Kelowna fiber network. The City expects other local businesses to begin joining the network in the months ahead.
Kelowna is British Columbia’s third-largest technology hub and the City of Kelowna is working with partners to expand this clean, knowledge-based sector. Economic development research estimates tech-sector revenues in the Okanagan for 2014 at more than $850 million, a 42 percent increase over 2013.
The Okanagan has more than 300 technology companies, an annual labor force growth rate of four percent, and more than 6,500 workers in the field Okanagan-wide.
RackForce is Canada’s largest Enterprise Cloud Service Provider who provides its services nationally and globally. In operation since 2001, RackForce has served over 12,000 customers to date ranging in size from SMB to Fortune 100 with substantial growth in the public sector including K-12, Advanced Education, Federal and Provincial governments.