Onze Roemeense Aiesecstagiair Adrian Bucur schreef een Company Profile van Kabel Noord. In het Engels, heel handig voor onze externe contacten!
Number of employees: 25
Number of customers: approximately 25 000
Year of incorporation: 1979
Municipality of Ameland
Municipality of Schiermonnikoog
Municipality of Dongeradeel
Municipality of Dantumadeel
Municipality of Kollumerland ca.
Kabel Noord operates in the north of the Netherlands, in the north-east of the Friesland province. The company delivers its services to households and businesses in the town of Dokkum, 60 villages from the mainland and 5 other villages from the islands Ameland and Schiermonnikoog.
analogue television, radio, broadband Internet access (since 1999), digital television(since 2004), digital telephony (since 2006). The oldest service provided by Kabel Noord is the transmission of television and radio channels by cable. The basic analogue service includes 30 television channels and 37 radio channels. In order to encourage customers to try new digital services, the basic digital television service is offered free of charge and even includes 15 extra channels. The Digital Extra service is created for more demanding customers, offering for a small fee 20 more channels than the Digital Basic service.
In terms of broadband Internet access, Kabel Noord is the only cable operator in the Netherlands applying the “open networks” concept. Through the Kabel Noord infrastructure the inhabitants from north-east Friesland have access to Chello Internet service provided by UPC and @ Home Internet service provided by Essent. In 2005 Kabel Noord started providing its own Internet service, Kabel Noord Internet Direct, with download speeds up to 4Mbps.
The digital telephony service is the newest service of the company. With the launch of digital telephony Kabel Noord became a so called triple-play service provider. The cable telephony solution provided by Kabel Noord is more affordable and more flexible than the fixed phone line solution provided by the incumbent telephony operator.
Because the region where Kabel Noord operates is considered to be a peripheral rural area confronted with typical problems like low mobility, unemployment, low education level or large distances, the company believes that it can have a positive socio-cultural and economic role in the life of the communities by using ICT solutions to solve or ameliorate these problems. This is the reason why over the years the company was involved in a large number of projects:
Glass Fiber Network In 2002 the Gerrit Foundation has started building in Friesland the first glass fiber network for connecting all the medical institutions and organizations of the province. In the north-east Friesland Kabel Noord has built its own glass fiber infrastructure allowing Gerrit Foundation to use it as well. Some security measures have been implemented for protecting the private client data.
Virtual Care at Home (E-health)
The project was set by Kabel Noord in collaboration with local health care organization Thuiszorg Het Friese Land, aiming to enhance the quality of life for the elderly people or people with disabilities with the support of audio-visual and IP technology. Using TV sets and special set-top-boxes with built-in camera, microphone and Internet connection the clients can communicate with remote health-care personnel and family members. Video conference units were also installed in Ameland island and in the hospital of Dokkum, enabling virtual visiting hours for hospitalized people and their relatives. Virtual medical consultations with the local diet specialists are also possible.
Wadden Campus (E-Learning)
Video conference technology was also deployed in the schools from the Wadden Islands in order to improve the quality of education. For making optimal use of the new technology, Kabel Noord facilitated partnerships between the schools and the Leeuwarden Academy so new working procedures and new didactic materials could be developed. Nederland BreedbandLand, the national platform for broadband solutions improvement, also got involved in the project and provides to the schools the necessary hardware and knowledge.
Kabel Noord tries to make the north east of Friesland more attractive for tourists by investing in new ICT services. Wireless hotspots were installed in the town of Dokkum and in the in the harbors, libraries, tourist offices and campings of the islands Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. With the help of local and European subsidies, webcams were installed in the national parks from the area. In an attempt to promote the Wadden Islands, Kabel Noord is also sponsoring a local Media art project which is using multimedia, new media and cross media art manifestation for creating virtual islands.
This is an ICT Knowledge Centre initiated by Kabel Noord as the main sponsor and by Friese Poort as the local middle education institute. NOFCOM serves as an ICT platform for the SMEs from the north east of Friesland where the local students can apply their technical knowledge in order to develop ICT solutions for businesses.
Kabel Noord Internet Direct
This service was developed for senior citizens and for those living on minimum income levels and it is the cheapest fixed rate broadband connection in the Netherlands.
Fiber to the Businesses
Glass fiber was introduced to the businesses in order to revitalize the area.
Fiber to the Schools
A better Internet connection is required by the schools from the north east of Friesland, as a result of the increasing number of ICT based educational activities. Therefore, Kabel Noord plans to offer as cheap as possible glass fiber connections to 60 schools in the area. Kabel Noord also tries to facilitate for them sponsorships with organizations and ICT companies so they can make better use of the infrastructure and have access to new services, software and hardware such as smart boards, beamers, floating workstations or thin clients.
Kabel Noord together with Nederland BreedbandLand have started making the plan for a project which aims to guide primary school pupils in making educational video clips. The History Clip project is a way of bringing together senior people and pupils so that the oral history can be converted into digital video clips, photographs and text and posted on the Internet.
Kabel Noord is working at the conversion of the local radio into a local television channel which is momentarily used for text television and for the transmission of the municipality council meetings. More programs like local news are planned to be transmitted in the future.
Kabel Noord thinks that the interactivity of the Internet can be applied also in television and interactive television has a greater value for the viewer than simple broadcasting.
Interactive concepts like Gamenations and Media Mall are available for the interested customers so they have access to specialized multimedia content and choose between gaming, local news, sports, culture, entertainment, society and lifestyle materials, user generated content or others.
E-Government and E-Democracy.
These modern concepts were put into action with the cooperation of local townships and organizations.
The Regional Broadband Laboratory
This laboratory is meant to be an organization whose sole purpose is the coordination of all the ICT projects in the entire region. For the moment only Kabel Noord is involved but in the future there will be dedicated personnel for the development and coordination of broadband and sustainability projects in the region.
The project aims to put more “energy” into the region because the ambition level amongst the youngsters is quite low; they tend to follow lower education instead of higher education even when they are able to follow higher education. Kabel Noord provides the communication infrastructure and facilitates partnerships with special organizations to enhance the education level.
The project is meant to improve the standards of living by ICT solutions in peripheral regions. With the support of Nederland BreedbandLand, Kabel Noord wants to introduce in small villages improvements like libraries with tourist information and WIFI Internet hotspots, selfservice-stores and others.
Tekst Adrian Bucur