Project Title:

Texada Wireless Internet Tower

Project Organization:

Gillies Bay Internet Society

Sources of Funding:

  • ICET Contribution: $10,334
  • Network BC: $98,000
  • Powell River Regional District: $5,893
  • Lasqueti Internet Society: $4,560
  • Loans/HST Refund: $8,059
  • Private Donations: $1,000
  • Total Budget: $127,846

Quick Facts:

Reliable, fast wireless internet access supports the growth of small business, and encourages the in-migration of professional ‘remote workers’ in knowledge and creative industries.

About:

Historically, Texada Island has relied on logging and limestone quarries for the bulk of its employment opportunities. The decline in those industries calls for new approaches to attracting new businesses and families to the Island.  In today’s global economy, Internet connectivity is no longer an option and Texada’s lack of proper Internet access was hampering its economic growth potential.

Reliable, fast wireless internet access supports the growth of small business, and it encourages the in-migration of professional ‘remote workers’ in knowledge and creative industries: artists, architects, writers, and more can choose to live anywhere in the world as long as they have good internet connectivity. Internet access also helps to attract and retain young families as there is growth in the availability of online courses for both secondary and post-secondary education.

The project, completed in 2010, involved construction of the Mt. Pocahontas tower with a cluster of antennas connected to a high capacity transmitter. The Mt. Pocahontas site is ideal to cover a very large service area around Gillies Bay and some areas on the mainland around Powell River.

In addition to the economic opportunities created, the Texada Wireless Internet Tower also increased safety for residents because the tower houses the Amateur Radio Emergency Repeater Station as part of the Provincial Emergency Program. As well, Gillies Bay hosts the Texada Island Health Centre, Library, RCMP detachment, Fire Department, and Seniors Centre.