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Strathcona Regional District community broadband plans are a roadmap for connectivity

Seven communities within SRD are part of Connected Coast program
Part of the community broadband plans include laying new underwater cables to different communities. Photo courtesy Strathcona Regional District

Community broadband Internet plans for seven communities involved in last year’s Strathcona Regional District planning forums are now available online.

The regional district held the forums in June 2019 in Cortes Island, Gold River, Kyuoquot, Quadra Island, Sayward, Tahsis and Zeballos.

“Improved broadband connectivity for rural and remote communities has been a strategic priority of the SRD for several years,” said SRD Board Chair Michele Babchuk. “There is a significant gap between broadband service levels and affordability in urban areas versus rural areas in British Columbia. In fact, many communities within the SRD do not meet basic service levels, if they have any service at all.”

The new plans hope to address that gap. They include both technical details that are unique to each community, as well as what the community members stand to gain from increased connectivity. The plans act as a kind of snapshot for developers to see what is needed and where each community currently stands.

Though each community’s list of priorities is different based on the opinions of the residents present at the workshops, some common threads include increased healthcare potential, attracting more young families, increased tourism and improved emergency management and notifications.

The SRD’s community broadband project is part of the Connected Coast project, which looks to bring more accessibility and connectivity to over 150 remote communities along the coast.

Each of the community broadband plans are available on the SRD website.

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