COURTENAY – Internet speeds usually only seen in major cities are making their way to Bamfield, through a project proposed by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, supported with funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.
The fibre optic cable will complement existing capacity by providing enterprise level connectivity speeds of up to 500 Mbps, as well as the bandwidth required to meet the needs of multiple Huu-ay-aht businesses in the region.
“It’s inspiring to see local leaders, such as those from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, take charge of their economic future by taking bold steps like this one,” said ICET Chair Josie Osborne. “We’re excited to see how enhanced connectivity in rural and remote communities can reduce the digital divide by supporting community aspirations and creating new business opportunities.”
In the past several years, the Huu-ay-aht have purchased a number of businesses in Bamfield, including a motel, café, market, pub, fishing lodge, and a tour operator. Those enterprises require fast, reliable internet, which the modern global traveler has become accustomed to. Increased connectivity speed and bandwidth also provides businesses with greater opportunities to integrate modern technology and productivity applications in their day to day operations.
“As we move forward, we are focused on attracting international tourism and competing in a modern economy,” explains Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “A high-speed internet connection will connect us to people and communities beyond our territory, and it will put Huu-ay-aht and Bamfield on the map.”
The project, valued at $60,000, will be supported with $30,000 from ICET. It will include deployment of an armoured fibre optic cable from the Government building in Anacla to Bamfield, with distribution lines to the seven HFN-owned businesses. Hardware and software to enable the connection to the ‘backbone’ will also be installed.
The project is expected to get underway shortly, with completion forecast for June 2019.
About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has been at the forefront of economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization for the past twelve years.
ICET is independently governed by a Board of Directors and two Regional Advisory Committees which include more than 50 locally elected officials, MLAs and appointees from the Island and Coast. This exceptional team of leaders collaborate to set regional priorities and build vital multi-regional networks.
Through a community centered decision-making process, ICET has approved more than $50 million in funding for over 190 economic infrastructure and economic development readiness projects. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2600 long term permanent jobs.
A full overview of ICET can be found at www.islandcoastaltrust.ca.
For further information:
Mayor Josie Osborne, ICET ChairDistrict of TofinoTel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Line Robert, CEOIsland Coastal Economic TrustTel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 227) email@example.com
Heather ThompsonCommunications CoordinatorHuu-ay-aht First NationTel: 250-723-0100 (Ext. 245)firstname.lastname@example.org