Funding is being set up for broadband internet on Cortes and Quadra Islands, as well as other relevant parts of the Strathcona Regional District.
“In essence, there are two different categories. There are communities that the Feds consider already served because they have a minimum upload and download speed. Parts of Quadra are like that and parts of Quadra are not. Cortes is not a minimum served community, therefore we can get Last Mile Funding from the Feds. Whereas areas that are considered served are not eligible, explained Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson.“So in Cortes’ instance, [CityWest Cable and Telephone Corp] receives 90% of the funding required from senior levels of government.”
The SRD is borrowing the funding to service communities considered to be well served, but in its opinion are not well served.
Grant funding for Broadband Internet
“This is to bring fibre optics to people’s houses, not to the ends of people’s driveways …The intention is that this is at zero cost to the homeowner. We are running on the telephone poles, across the whole island, but getting it from the telephone pole to your house will also be at our cost. If you have telephone poles up your driveway to your house, we will run it on those, and if you have an underground buried service, we will bury it, said Anderson.
Areas funded through a loan
The more established southern part of Quadra, along with Gold River, Tahsis, and Sayward are not eligible for grant funding because their existing internet speeds allegedly already met the national standard. (50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload.)
So the SRD has agreed to borrow up to $12,540,255 so that CityWest can build the necessary high-speed broadband infrastructure.
CityWest agreed to make all payments (principal and interest) for the Indebtedness.
Disbursement of Loan:
- $5,700,000 – Quadra Island
- $800,000 – Tahsis;
- $3,000,000 – Sayward;
- $2,500,00 – Gold River
Links of Interest:
- (Cortes Currents) articles about, or mentioning, the Connected Coast project
- (SRD) BYLAW No. 428 — Last Mile Broadband funding agreements
- (Cortes Currents) TELUS intends to erect a cell phone tower on Quadra Island
Top photo credit courtesy Petr Sejba of www.moneytoplist.com
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