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Planetworking worldwide since 1998

Planetworks turns 20 !

On June 9th, under sunny skies, the entire Planetworks team celebrated our 20-year anniversary with a client appreciation event at BC Place. The group kicked back in the Balcony Lounge while taking in a Vancouver Whitecaps match alongside clients, colleagues, alumni and family. A trip to the pitch and a souvenir photo to mark the occasion capped off a great day.

We'd like to thank all our clients for their valued and continued support over the past two decades and for helping us celebrate this milestone!

Safety first: navigating new technologies for public safety

Planetworks has a long and successful history of supporting public safety communications systems, along with the associated technical challenges when migrating from legacy to new technologies.

Last year, on behalf of the Government of Manitoba, Karl Reardon and Neal Ross undertook a technically complex procurement process to find a service provider to deliver and manage an updated public safety radio communications system to meet the Province’s current and future public safety needs.

Over a 12-month period, they established a procurement process strategy, provided technical, business and service requirements, managed the RFQ and RFP process, made a service provider recommendation, supported the final solution, and managed the complex services contract negotiations.

Providing solutions for US transit authorities

Since its inception Planetworks has provided expertise for many Canadian transportation sector clients, including TransLink and Edmonton Transit System. Our sector expertise includes core and access networking, federated account management systems and web services, CAD/AVL systems, land mobile systems, backhaul optical and microwave systems, fare collection systems, SCADA system and program management services.

In recent years our transportation sector clientele has grown markedly south of the border.

Susanna Reardon, alongside an additional colleague, conducted an audit of the IT and communications infrastructure for Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri-Met), located in Portland, Oregon. They provided recommendations to increase the resiliency of various business systems which are core to Tri-Met’s operations.

In 2018, Susanna joined the fare collection program team for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), located in Boston, MA, to assist them with a variety of technical and program management services, including the development of risk mitigation strategies.

Safety Code 6 growth continues

Planetworks SC6 division has experienced substantial growth over the past decade which is testament to our ability to offer high quality, accurate, and cost-effective radio safety consulting services, including inventory and assessment of antennas, site certifications to Health Canada SC6 (2015) standard, radio frequency coverage design, verification testing, and specific Safety Awareness Training.

Our team and has travelled extensively throughout Canada from Iqaluit, Nunavut, to remote weather stations in rural Manitoba, to city centre rooftops in downtown Toronto to perform testing and certification for 800+ sites.

We service a wide range of clients from local strata-owned residential buildings to some of Canada’s largest telecom firms. Our recent client additions include: Telus, Environment Canada, City of Campbell River, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Vista Broadcast Group, Rheinmetall, Navigata, and Ember Resources.

Contact service leads Karl Reardon or Susanna Reardon for more information. 

Wonder why radiofrequency (RF) energy is important?

RF energy enables radio-communication services to the public, industry and government. Examples include radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, emergency services, weather radar and satellite communications.

RF energy is also emitted by everyday items, such as microwave ovens, computers, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, garage door openers, medical devices, to name just a few. Health Canada SC6 (Safety Code 6) defines safe limits for exposure to RF energy that incorporates margins to ensure protection for everyone, including those working near RF sources.


New privacy rules force Canadian companies to disclose data breaches 

New privacy legislation (PIPEDA) kicked in this month to better safeguard the personal data of Canadians and let them know when it has been breached. The law calls for enhanced digital safeguards, including dealings with third party contractors. Read more.

New Canadian centre for cyber security opens 

Canada’s new consolidated cyber security hub opened last month promising better government co-operation with the private sector on threat analysis and security issues. The centre works with the 10 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the feds, including the telecom industry. The centre also seeks to improve the knowledge and capabilities of small and medium-sized businesses. Read more

National broadband strategy announced to ensure internet access in Canada

Last month the feds announced Canada will develop a national broadband strategy to bring high-speed internet into rural, remote and Indigenous communities that still do not have access to the reliable high-speed broadband services available to urban dwellers. The strategy plans to target areas where the market has failed to provide access. Read more.


Planetworks: the early daze

Back in 1998, engineer wunderkind Colin Reid founded Planetworks as a technology consulting firm focused on planning information networks – hence, the name derived from “plan-networks.” Soon thereafter, Colin was joined by Teleconsult vet Duncan Sharp, and in quick succession the pair added Keith Bandy, Dale Reid and Arnold Ostevik.

Officially incorporated in 2000, the founding five engineers shared a vision of delivering high quality technology planning and engineering services that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness for clients. Planetworks would be the vehicle for working together to deliver challenging and successful projects that were aligned with interests and skill sets.

The budding firm continued to attract like-minded professionals and talented engineers with similar strong work ethics, interests and values. Key additions included Colin Savage, Dmitry Riftin, Mory Kapustianyk, Karl and Susanna Reardon, and Paul Childs, who has acted as president and CEO since 2005. The breadth and depth of Planetworks' services portfolio grew correspondingly.

The team took on increasingly more complex and technically challenging projects with the added brain power and momentum. Some of the early projects included the replacement and upgrade of the Yukon-wide mobile radio system, the wireless links for Alberta SuperNet, a feasibility study for a nation-wide financial network in Nepal, as well as a wide range of projects for transportation and public safety agencies, international development and energy agencies, and critical infrastructure utilities.

Since those early days, the group has tackled over 800 projects around the globe, and its ranks have grown to 18 engineers working on short and long-term projects, such as the Compass Smart Card project for TransLink.

The Planetworks reputation was proudly built one project at a time with cooperation, collaboration and quality as keystones for its success and foundation for the future.

Unified communications in education

Today’s Unified Communications (UC) provide mobile-first, cloud-ready capabilities to extend the classroom and facilitate interactions between teachers, administrators, students and parents across all communication modes and channels with an awareness of budgetary constraints.

Desk phones are trending toward obsolescence, with the exception of specific cases where one wants to reach a place, and not a person.  Understanding these new innovations is a daunting process, as voice communications continues to decline and other modes are enabled with UC.

As education organizations consider cloud UC, there is a need to integrate UC with emergency management, access control, surveillance, PA, scheduling, and other business systems to improve facility operations and safety, often while addressing legacy cabling. Solutions enabling these capabilities require some on-premises footprint for resiliency and security.
We've assisted numerous education organizations tackle these complex integration issues to reduce overhead, simplify management, and achieve desired operation efficiencies. Contact Paul Childs for more information.

Planetworks: special studies and other projects

Our project portfolio includes a variety of special studies, technical assessments, and strategic and financial analyses, as well as project management services related to telecommunications and information technologies.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening at Planetworks:

Paul Childs and Dmitry Riftin provided an updated network planning model as part of the Long-Term Connectivity Modelization & Planning for Enterprise Cloud Applications for a leading global children’s aid organization.

Paul is working on several BC Hydro projects including support of their Telecom Networks Operations-Telecom Management System program along with Gary Li, Rob White and Colin Savage.

Dale Reid, along with Duncan Sharp and Susanna Reardon, provided technical input into the Options Analysis for the development of new fibre optic infrastructure (Yukon Diverse Fibre Link) for Ernst & Young Orenda.

Dmitry Riftin and Paul Childs are assisting Surrey SD36 and the Cranbrook SD5 UC strategy and procurement projects. Dmitry is also assisting
Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC) with their data centre server infrastructure upgrade planning project

Karl Reardon and Duncan Sharp are preparing a network capacity study for E-Comm to determine the impact of the new TransLink traffic on E-Comm’s existing P25 Phase 2 radio network.

Colin Savage will be undertaking network architecture, communications, and selection of replacement SCADA and telemetry equipment for the Okanagan and Kootenays for Fortis Energy BC, in addition to his work on the design and commissioning of the province-wide network.

Colin is also working on a project for CP Rail involving the expansion and refresh of their Digital Trunked Radio System in the Lower Mainland.

Our work with BC cities and municipalities continues; Mory Kapustianyk is providing SCADA review and design for the City of Burnaby. He is also assisting the City of Yellowknife on a radio site relocation project.
We welcomed STEVE HARDS and LUCA FILIPOZZI to the Planetworks team in 2018.

is currently designing the network architecture, software applications and business and technical requirements for the Translink TMAC RRIP project with Karl Reardon.

He brings extensive engineering, technology, finance and strategic experience gained at financial institutions, technology firms and tech start-ups in North America and Europe to Planetworks.
Luca is currently working on several projects, including a Federated Identity project for Ottawa-based Versaterm with Paul Childs.

is a highly accomplished IT architect specializing in enterprise system and data integration, identity and access management and physical access control systems.

Luca has held senior IT positions in the Faculty of Electrical & Computer Engineering, the Department of IT, and the Office of the CIO at the University of British Columbia.
Copyright © 2018, Planetworks Consulting Corp., All rights reserved.

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Suite 350-233 1st St. West, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1B3

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