The board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako discuss the new Broadband and Connectivity Committee on Aug. 15. (Blair McBride photo)

New RDBN panel to explore better internet connectivity

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) has formed a new committee to help bring better internet connectivity to the region.

Members of the RDBN’s board of directors agreed at their Aug. 15 to the formation of the Broadband and Connectivity Committee.

The new panel is guided by the vision that “all citizens in the RDBN will have access to high speed internet,” according to a district memorandum.

Among its tasks are researching projects to enhance cell phone and internet connectivity, recommending those projects to the board, consulting with the public and preparing grant applications for better connectivity.

Michael Riis-Christianson, Electoral Area B Director, will chair the group and Directors Tom Greenaway and Mark Parker of Areas C and D, respectively, will serve as committee members.

The committee doesn’t have a specific budget at the moment.

Commenting on the new panel, Rob Newell, Director of Electoral Area G said that while he supports the move, he hopes the group will grow into something bigger.

“We’ve been working on [connectivity] for seven years but we’ve been spinning our wheels because we don’t have that kind of knowledge,” he said.

“Good communications has a socioeconomic impact that goes beyond what we can imagine at this point. If we can get first rate broadband into this area, good cellphone coverage – people aren’t going to go somewhere else, they’re going to come here. We need a web coordinator on staff who can move this thing forward.”

The committee’s formation follows a year of focussed efforts by the RDBN on improving internet services.

In July, the district approved $100,000 to spend on an application for a multi-million dollar internet grant program.

READ MORE: RDBN budgets $100,000 for internet application grant

The Invermere-based TANEx Engineering on July 15 completed a $27,500 study on broadband services for the district.

In January, the board explored a $42 million internet expansion project. It was however, put on hold for the time being.

LOOK BACK: $42M fibre internet expansion bid needs more study, RDBN says

And last year, Sandbox Systems did the “Better Broadband for the RDBN” study, which recommended building a fibre internet backbone from Prince George to Smithers. It cost $25,000.

The first meeting of the Broadband and Connectivity Committee will be held on Aug. 29.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Canfor applies for federal workshare program

Employees eligible for benefits on days not working

Skaters preparing for new season

Also had a busy summer of training

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read