CVRD still advocating for high-speed internet in rural communities

The Comox Valley Regional District is still trying to provide better high-speed internet to the rural and remote communities of the Comox Valley.

Area C director Edwin Grieve provided a recommendation to the CVRD’s committee of the whole on Feb. 20 to send a letter to the federal and provincial governments, as well as internet service providers, requesting they continue in their efforts to provide high-speed internet to the region’s rural areas.

CVRD Area C director Edwin Grieve.

The CVRD has been writing letters to higher levels of government and telecommunications companies to improve internet access in the Comox Valley’s rural areas since 2012.

“We haven’t been able to entice the major providers into supplying services, even though the fibre optic cable runs all the way up to Mount Washington,” said Grieve. “I think the big thing is to get our foot in the door.”

Last month, the federal government announced that more than 150 remote communities in B.C. — many of which are on Vancouver Island — will soon have high-speed internet following a $45.4-million investment from senior levels of government.

Read More: 154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott announced Jan. 17 that Ottawa will commit $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable along B.C.’s coast. The remaining $11.4 million will come from the provincial government.

But Grieve says fibre optic cables alone are not enough to supply high-speed internet service to rural homes. He compared the fibre optic cables to a “spine” that needs to be tapped into.

“Even when you have fibre optic cables running through the community — like we do on Piercy Road on the way up to Mount Washington — there’s no way to tap into that system and bring in the last mile service to the homeowners,” he said.

“It’s a little more complicated than people realize. Even if you can get permission to tap into the fibre optics, I think it works out to $60,000–70,000 just to get the conversion unit that converts it down to cable.”

Grieve said the least served neighbourhoods in Area C are along Dove Creek and Piercy roads. He said the letters continue the CVRD’s advocacy on the issue.

“[These letters] are more just to raise awareness and demonstrate to the residents that we’re not letting this slip by, that we’re still on it, and we’re trying to engage the big service providers like Shaw and Telus,” he said.

—With files from Katya Slepian

Just Posted

Comox Valley’s living wage sees four per cent increase from 2017 – report

Advocacy groups say the Valley’s inflation rate was nearly double the provincial average

Peru authorities order arrest of two suspects in Vancouver Island man’s killing

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the… Continue reading

UPDATED: Comox Valley man killed in Peru

A Canadian man killed in Peru has been identified by the Peruvian… Continue reading

Big Read: locked out of the woods

Vancouver Islanders struggle to balance back country public access with private land protection

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

Living wage varies between $16.51 in north central B.C. to $20.91 in Metro Vancouver

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Most Read