Remote internet access allows rural communities to preserve their way of life while enabling local businesses and residences an opportunity for fast, reliable Internet access.
Communities in remote North Island areas were in need of a high-speed Internet service, which was not being provided by Internet Service providers. In today’s economy, the lack of Internet service is a serious barrier to development, business and resident attraction and retention. The Ragged Edge Community Network Society – a non-profit society that aims to bring service to the region’s outlying areas – was formed to address this issue. The group has a mandate to return profits gained from being an Internet service provider back to communities by supporting unserved outlying in gaining access to high-speed Internet service.
The project involved the delivery of Internet service to Zeballos, Quatsino First Nation and Coal Harbour. New towers were built and appropriate infrastructure installed to bring high-speed, non-line-of-site Internet from a Telus feed and distribute it into homes and businesses. Homeowners and organizations were assisted in hooking up their signal to the network. A 24/7 helpline provides customer service and the high-speed Internet system is maintained to provide optimal signal strength.
With this project, completed in 2008, the communities of Zeballos, Quatsino First Nation and Coal have the opportunity to connect to the world, supporting business and economic development activities. Additionally, schools, libraries, governments, fire stations, health clinics, and emergency responders also benefit from Internet access to deliver better quality services to the community.