The City of Castlegar is moving forward and exploring the possibilities of bringing broadband internet service to the community.
The Castlegar Broadband Committee has been collecting surveys from businesses and analyzing the needs and interests in the community.
The city is working in conjunction with the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust.
The cities of Trail, Nelson and Rossland are also working with CBBC to bring broadband to their communities.
Broadband is a fibre infrastructure that in Castlegar will reside on the existing fibre network for large portion of the system. Fibre optic cables are glass fibres that are sturdy and long-lasting. CBBC has fibre in the East and West Kootenay and will provide a connection to the city over its fibre “backbone”.
The broadband will be capable of managing internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second up and down loading. Current service in Castlegar is up to 25 mbps downloading and 5 mbps. According to the Castlegar Broadband website, “The proposed broadband will be much faster and more stable than current options for a similar cost.”
Proponents of bringing broadband to Castlegar believe it will greatly benefit businesses by increasing efficiency and enabling expansion. They believe it will also benefit the community at large through uses in education, health services, emergency services and Government opportunities.
“The greatest benefit is the potential economic development,” said Tammy Verigin-Burk, broadband committee member and Castlegar Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
“It would put us on the same level as cities that already have broadband service. Broadband service would allow speeds more conducive to downloading and uploading, increasing cost efficiency. It will also be great for consumers as it will increase the speed of debit and other transactions. It will give us the capacity to attract high end progressive internet based businesses.”