Project Title:

Connecting Comox through its Community Broadband Strategy

Project Organization:

Town of Comox

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $10,000
  • Total Budget: $46,365

Project Highlight:

Strategic expansion of Comox’s fibre optic network to foster innovation, wellbeing, and community growth.

The Town of Comox currently has a 4-km fibre optic network that extends from the town hall to the public works building. Throughout 2024, they will significantly expand this network by intuitively planning inclusion of fibre-optic infrastructure as part of the planned Comox Valley Regional District Sewer Conveyance Project. By installing new fibre optic cable at this time, they will meet best practice, dig-once policies, and double their existing broadband capacity. When this phase is complete, the Town of Comox will have more than 8-km of fibre optic network spanning the municipal boundary, with 27 distribution vaults.

“The Town of Comox is committed to modernizing itself and supporting community access to reliable broadband internet,” says Jordan Wall, CAO, Town of Comox. “This strategy will help inform the Town of potential revenue from the installation of inground fibre infrastructure. It will also support disaster recovery and business continuity, while potentially providing access to new ISPs.”

The Town of Comox is prioritizing its Community Broadband Strategy to identify opportunities to optimize its infrastructure capacity. The report will outline an actionable business and financial plan to provide the foundation for current and future progression.

Island Coastal Economic Trust is investing $10,000 with the Town of Comox, through the Investment Readiness Program. This project will create positive impact focused on Innovation and Technology.

The Trust has previously invested in similar projects, including both the Hornby-Denman Digital Roadmap and qathet Last Mile Connectivity Strategy in Powell River.

Strengthening Community Wellbeing:

The Town of Comox anticipate their Community Broadband Strategy, developed through a 9-week project, will identify several ways to strengthen community wellbeing across four bottom line measures.

Economic Prosperity: Fibre-optic networks offer municipalities new revenue streams and encourage private sector investment. By reducing the cost of access to introduce increased service options and providers, the town anticipates a competitive market for broadband access, increased tourism support, and strong local employment.

Social Empowerment: The town looks forward to positive employment outcomes based of their broadband capacity expansion. Through this strategy, they will identify and track key indicators that can link new job opportunities to their broadband network.

These networks have also been linked to far-reaching improvements that impact all community members. They can positively impact healthcare, education, and e-commerce opportunities, while removing barriers for citizen and workforce engagement.

Climate Resiliency: The improved network infrastructure will enable the Town of Comox to adapt Smart City Initiatives, including advanced street lighting, smart metering for water conservation, and predictive analytics for asset depreciation and replacement.

Cultural Vitality: Through this strategy project, the town will set and track key indicators to determine public safety improvements; public health, education, and vulnerable resident services enhancements; and positive partnerships developed with nearby local governments.

What Leaders are Saying:

“The work on this strategy will help ensure the Town has no gaps in its broadband service delivery and ensure all residents and business can access information in a stable and cost-effective manner. We’re grateful to Island Coastal Economic Trust for their continued support of our community on this and many other endeavours.” – Jordan Wall, CAO, Town of Comox

“It is a smart move to anticipate the role of fibre optics to support people in healthcare and education, and in jobs and investment. Congratulations to the Town of Comox for securing funding to prepare to bring affordable high-speed internet that will propel Comox into a resilient future.” – Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox

“We were eager to invest with the Town of Comox as they complete their community broadband strategy. We’re hopeful this initiative will focus their strong fibre-optic infrastructure into economic growth and social opportunities across their community.” – Aaron Stone, Chair, Island Coastal Economic Trust.

Media Contacts:

Jeff Bartlett
Communications and Impact Manager
Island Coastal Economic Trust

Jordan Wall
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Comox

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2024 through the Investment Readiness program.