Internet connections can be sketchy in communities such as Hornby Island. Photo courtesy Mountain Bike BC

Internet connections can be sketchy in communities such as Hornby Island. Photo courtesy Mountain Bike BC

Hornby/Denman group lobbies for high-speed internet infrastructure

A working group has appealed to rural directors to help bring high-speed fibre optic internet infrastructure to Hornby and Denman islands, which fall within Area A of the Comox Valley Regional District.

The process would involve joining Connected Coast, a consortium to bring improved internet to coastal communities.

“We’re looking for landing sites to subsea cable from Vancouver to Prince Rupert that then circles back around Vancouver Island,” Hornby/Denman Internet Committee member Karen Ross said in a Jan. 11 presentation to the Electoral Area Services Committee.

It took a great deal of lobbying to reopen a file that had excluded the islands in an initial application of 152 communities, she added.

“If we get acceptance and get those landing sites, there’s now 154. Many of those communities are Indigenous, and the federal funding is supporting rural communities of B.C.”

Landing sites would be located south of the Denman and Hornby ferry terminals on Lambert Channel.

A second part of the process involves the installation of ‘last mile’ infrastructure with fibre optic high-speed service. Last mile refers to the final leg of telecommunication networks that deliver services to customers. There is a Feb. 15 deadline to apply for federal funds.

The group hopes the CVRD will prioritize delivery of fibre optic to the premise infrastructure.

“The landing sites will be installed spring and summer of 2021,” said Ross, noting the difficulty of conducting business on Hornby or Denman when one is kicked off a call. “Phase one is Vancouver to Campbell River. It means that Hornby and Denman will be one of the first communities to get their landing sites. If we’re ready to go with our funding and our sponsorship for the last mile, we’ll be one of the first communities that could have that last mile infrastructure installed. So the timing on this is really critical.”

A staff report says internet service on Denman and Hornby is below a national standard of 50/10 download/upload speed set by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). There may be an opportunity to support improved services through a partnership with the Strathcona Regional District and the Connected Coast project, which includes undersea fibre running between Denman and Hornby. A partnership with Connected Coast related to the landing sites — before subsea fibre is installed — requires $142,000 from the community. Installing fibre on the Islands after installing subsea fibre would cost about $725,000.

EASC directors Daniel Arbour (Area A), Arzeena Hamir (Area B) and Edwin Grieve (Area C) supported a recommendation for a $142,000 contribution to the SRD and Connected Coast, to be funded by the Denman and Hornby islands community works funds.

Furthermore, the CVRD board is to consider funding beyond a 90 per cent threshold, subject to an assessment of a service delivery model to support broadband connectivity, including public engagement.

Grant funding opportunities exist where an internet service provider may receive up to 90 per cent of the costs to construct a community’s last mile infrastructure. In most cases, the community must provide the remaining 10 per cent.



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Courtenay skateboarder selected to first-ever national team

A young man from Courtenay is among 12 athletes who have been… Continue reading

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read