Ragged Edge Community Network Expansion

Ragged Edge Society

Sources of Funding
ICET :$50,000
Connecting BC:$55,000
Ragged Edge Society:$15,000
In Kind:$5,000
Total Budget: $125,000

A recent study by the Mount Waddington Regional District found that the lack - and high cost - of internet bandwidth is a significant issue for economic development initiatives on the North Island.  Many businesses are run from rural areas in the region and customers expect them to operate at the same level of efficiency as urban services.

The Ragged Edge Community Network Society was formed in 2006 to bring modern Internet service to North Island communities previously served only by dial-up.  The Society has brought high-speed internet service to 12 communities, 375 households, three First Nations and more than 50 businesses that previously only had dial-up access. When Ragged Edge Community Network Society began offering service in 2006, high usage of broadband per customers was 9 gigabytes per month.  In 2015 the average usage is 15 gigs per month, with household users’ peak usage reaching 250-300 gigabytes of data per month.

The network needs updating to meet current Industry Canada standards of 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up and provide efficient comprehensive service to more communities. To stabilize the network, back-up power stations will be installed to increase reliability and service during hydro outages. The Quatsino community will be integrated into the terrestrial network and interconnection upgrades will be made in Sointula, Coal Harbour, Quatsino First Nation, Zeballos and Telegraph Cove. Routers and Wi-Fi service to Gilford Island and Kwicksutaineuk First Nation will be upgraded. A customer relations management program will be implemented along with plans for further network expansions.

Upgrading the high-speed internet service improves quality of life for residents, the success of businesses, and meets expectations of visitors traveling to the region. Residents will be able to access education, online shopping, telehealth and telemedicine as well as culture and connection to the world. Entrepreneurs will have improved capacity to engage in emerging sectors of the North Island economy that include tourism, aquaculture, arts, crafts and cultural activities.

The project is underway.

2,500
person years employment created (construction phase)
50
locally elected officials and MLAs working together
$10.4
million annual provincial government revenue generated
2,600
post completion jobs created
$4.6
dollars leveraged for every ICET dollar invested
$230
million leveraged into the region
$49.1
million disbursed
$50.9
million committed
185
economic development projects
150
projects completed
36%
projects in small (less than 5,000) communities
50+
communities with ICET projects

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