The Government of B.C. is contributing $100,000 to improve internet access to better connect the remote, island community of Bamfield to more business opportunities and to improve service delivery in areas such as health care, education and emergency response. This investment will help deliver a cutting-edge, high-speed fibre optic network that is consistently faster and more reliable, Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims announced today.
Community Wireless Networks, a local, family-run internet provider in Bamfield, will receive $100,000 from the Connecting British Columbia program to construct a secure, reliable and future-proof fibre optic network.
"I’ve visited many communities across the province and have heard first-hand how fundamental high-speed internet connectivity is to areas like Bamfield,” said Sims. “We are working with local service providers throughout the province, such as Community Wireless Networks, to build the railways of today. These information routes will mean more business opportunities, improved educational tools and greater access to a wide variety of health-care services.”
Reliable, high-speed internet access is expected to encourage economic growth in the community, which is home to close to 200 residents. The new fibre network will help to grow the thriving tourism industry, which offers charters, lodging, wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation.
“The internet is a critical piece of how we do business and communicate with each other,” said Bamfield Chamber of Commerce chairman Phil Lavoie. “Fibre optic connectivity will help ensure the people of Bamfield have a high-speed connection they can count on for years to come. This project will make an essential business tool in Bamfield faster, more reliable and future-proof.”
Northern Development’s grant will provide up to $100,000 of the total estimated project cost of $600,000.
"As a locally owned and operated internet service provider, Community Wireless Networks knows the value of upgrading Bamfield’s connection with a new fibre network,” said Community Wireless Networks owner Eric Geall. “The improved connectivity will bring economic benefits to the area, while also improving access to critical services. We are pleased that local emergency services will be able share the benefit of this infrastructure."
"Investment in broadband connectivity supports economic diversification strategies throughout B.C. This funding for a new fibre network will improve high-speed internet access, support local business growth and ensure reliable service delivery,” said Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Joel McKay.
Connecting British Columbia is a program funded by the Province and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust to expand and upgrade broadband connections in rural and remote communities throughout B.C.
The community of Bamfield is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island and is accessible only by floatplane, boat or by driving down an 80-kilometre gravel road. It is home to Parks Canada’s famous West Coast Trail and many other seasonal tourism attractions.
- More than 40,000 households in over 200 communities will benefit from improved high-speed internet access through the Connecting British Columbia program.
- Community Wireless Networks will add more than 15 km of transport fibre to connect its network to the global internet. Almost 30 km of access fibre will be required to connect its customers to the network.
Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Connecting British Columbia program: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/business-development/connecting-british-columbia
Community Wireless Networks: http://www.mybamfield.com