There is a significant gap between broadband service levels in urban and rural BC. Both Denman and Hornby Islands have been identified by the CRTC as underserviced areas. In an environment of significant federal funding for last-mile connectivity, the two communities are undertaking a comprehensive planning process to define their digital needs, aspirations and how to achieve them.
The Hornby-Denman Digital Roadmap will develop a digital strategy in consultation with businesses and residents, through public meetings and written surveys. Feedback will be integrated within Connected Communities BC, a provincial framework for implementing digital innovation into all aspects of community development. Consultations will directly inform technical designs, costing and business plans necessary to build-out fibreoptic infrastructure.
The resulting plans will enable Hornby and Denman Islands to apply for last-mile connectivity funding, or move with existing internet service providers to implement services suited to community need. The benefits of improved broadband will serve all demographics on the islands. Improved health and emergency services are important for aging populations, while the digital network will provide urban amenities with a rural lifestyle for younger entrepreneurs looking to the islands as their new home. Improved connectivity will open up new opportunities for online education, new business innovation, and more.