High-speed Internet on its way to parts of Pemberton and Mount Currie

Project provides added bonus for emergency services

It’s a part of a bigger project, Davin Peterson explained.

“There are a lot of moving parts,” the managing director of Base Technology said. “We need to get fibre installed, we need to build towers and we need to get people in agreement.”

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Peterson is working with provincial, federal and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) officials to bring high-speed Internet to areas — including upper Pemberton Meadows, toward Pemberton airport and the Mount Currie region — where the service is non-existent or slow.

With funding from the province-wide Connecting BC Grant program, in 2010 the independent telecommunications company installed a network for The Meadows. Six years later, the expectations for high-speed have drastically changed, Peterson said.

“Everyone actually watches TV over the Internet,” he said, noting this act requires the service to be 10 times faster.

Work on the current $490,000 project is already underway. The company hopes to have services in place for The Meadows and Mount Currie by the end of this year, Peterson said. The entire project is anticipated to wrap up in 2017.

The latest portion of the project is anticipated to provide new or improved service to 1,000 people living in The Meadows, near the Pemberton air field, Mount Currie Industrial Park and to Mount Currie, SLRD chair Jack Crompton said.

“For the Pemberton Meadows the Internet service will go from 1.5 megabytes per second to five,” he said, noting that is Industry Canada’s new minimum standard for Internet speed.

Improving Internet speed for the region’s residents has been a top priority for the SLRD, Crompton said.

The region’s geography and the isolation of some of the communities’ presents challenges. The company has to use helicopters and is reliant on its relationship with municipalities and stakeholders, Peterson said.

A by-product of the project has been its ability to aid local firefighters. The Pemberton department and fire halls up the Hurley River Road have been able to place their radio systems on the top of the company’s tower, enhancing the emergency crews’ communication network.

Village of Pemberton officials are excited to be one of the 70 communities benefiting from the Connecting BC Program, Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman said in a statement emailed to The Question.

The ability to stay connected is critical for a small, rural community like Pemberton for numerous reasons, he said. From an economic standpoint it improves access to markets and the municipality’s ability to attract investment and commercial development, Richman continued.

“Improved Internet services enables residents to take advantage of learning and work-from-home opportunities, reducing the need for long-distance commutes,” he said.

West Vancouver – Sea to Sky Corridor MLA Jordan Sturdy reiterated Richman’s statements. The Pemberton resident called connectivity essential to today’s world.

Base Technology is looking to hire local residents for the project, Peterson added.

“Basically we have several positions to fill.”

To find out more visit basewirelesss.com.

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