Campbell River presses it’s high-tech ‘CRadvantage’

  • Nov. 16, 2017 4:30 a.m.

The city’s latest infrastructure project could make Campbell River the newest branch in Canada’s growing technology sector, according to a city official.

Rose Klukas, economic development officer for the City of Campbell River, was at the launch of its municipal broadband network, CRadvantage, earlier this month, where she explained how the project could benefit current and future businesses in Campbell River’s downtown core.

“The biggest benefit is the cost of the service, which is why the city decided to invest in the infrastructure — to bring down the cost of high-speed, enterprise-level internet access,” she said. “The city also recognizes that communities outside of large urban centres need to level the playing field (in regards to) business development. This was one initiative that can support that levelling.”

CRadvantage comprises a network of fibre optic cables throughout the downtown core, allowing businesses – and potentially residents – to access online download and upload speeds of up to one gigabit per second, comparable to internet access speeds available in downtown Vancouver and other tech industry hubs.

While the actual infrastructure is maintained by the city, access is sold by a separate internet service provider (ISP). The city is currently seeking further ISP partners in order to foster competition and “avoid monopolistic pricing.”

Several businesses in the area have already taken advantage of the new fibre optic infrastructure, including the Seymour Pacific building and the casino.

While similar initiatives have become increasingly popular across Canada in the past decade, CRadvantage represents the first municipal broadband network to take root on Vancouver Island.

With the network now live, Klukas said the city will focus on connecting with companies operating in IT and other fields who are seeking to set up branch offices outside of increasingly cost-prohibitive urban centres, such as the Lower Mainland.

In addition to lower property costs, city representatives are also hoping that businesses will be enticed by Campbell River’s recreational opportunities as well as the abundance of land for manufacturing operations.

Much of the project’s $25,000 marketing budget, which came out of the city’s Gaming Reserve, will be put towards funding face-to-face meetings with prospective businesses, including the recent BC Tech Summit in Vancouver, which was attended by a delegation of IT and other city staff.

“Our prior research indicated that there were businesses interested in (coming to) Campbell River, but access to affordable, enterprise-level internet access was a barrier,” Klukas said.

“From an economic development perspective, we know that for communities outside of large urban centres that’s just an additional cost of doing business. The city wanted to mitigate that through investing in the infrastructure.”

Discussions for an expansion of the coverage area are currently in “early stages,” according to Klukas, while possible further expansions will depend on the level of interest.

City council first made the project a major priority last year, following the approval of a $50,000 grant by the Island Coastal Economic Trust.

The remaining $323,795 budget was funded through council’s Community Works Fund Reserve.

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized by the Street Crimes Unit on May 12. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police recover cash, drugs and weapons after arrest

18-year-old arrested in Willow Point Park for drug trafficking

Good Food Boxes are packed in Gold River to go out to people of that community. The program is one of a few that address food security in the area. Photo supplied by Greenways Land Trust
Group to hold workshop to address food security gaps

‘The only barriers are capacity and people being able to devote time and energy to it.’ — Greenways dir.

Colin Dowler survived a grizzly bear attack July 29, 2019 on Mt. Dougie Dowler on the south coast of British Columbia and reports that his physical and mental rehabilitation is still ongoing. Photo courtesy Colin Dowler
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

The City of Campbell River will purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Overdose Prevention Site after a letter from a local paramedic pointed out it doesn’t have one. Black Press File Photo
City of Campbell River to buy defibrillator for downtown Overdose Prevention Site

Local paramedic pens letter asking for city’s assistance after trying other avenues to acquire AED

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read