Internet speeds usually only seen in major cities are making their way to Bamfield.
A new fibre optic cable will complement existing capacity by providing enterprise-level connectivity speeds of up to 500 Mbps, as well as the bandwidth required to meet the needs of multiple Huu-ay-aht businesses in the region.
The project was proposed by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and supported with funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust.
“It’s inspiring to see local leaders, such as those from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, take charge of their economic future by taking bold steps like this one,” said ICET chairwoman Josie Osborne.
“We’re excited to see how enhanced connectivity in rural and remote communities can reduce the digital divide by supporting community aspirations and creating new business opportunities.”
In the past several years, the Huu-ay-aht have purchased a number of businesses in Bamfield, including a motel, café, market, pub, fishing lodge, and a tour operator.
Those enterprises require fast, reliable internet, which the modern global traveler has become accustomed to.
Increased connectivity speed and bandwidth also provides businesses with greater opportunities to integrate modern technology in their day-to-day operations.
“As we move forward, we are focused on attracting international tourism and competing in a modern economy,” said Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr., from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation.
“A high-speed internet connection will connect us to people and communities beyond our territory, and it will put Huu-ay-aht and Bamfield on the map.”
The project, valued at $60,000, will be supported with $30,000 from ICET.
It will include deployment of an armoured fibre-optic cable from the government building in Anacla to Bamfield, with distribution lines to the seven HFN-owned businesses.
Hardware and software to enable the connection to the “backbone” will also be installed.
The project is expected to be completed by June, 2019.