Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) is developing a community-based Internet Connectivity Plan that will support internet investment in the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area, which includes Galiano, Mayne, North Pender, South Pender and Saturna Islands.
“We are excited to engage with community members on this important project,” said Justine Starke, Manager of SGI Service Delivery at the CRD. “We want to learn more about the issues as well as opportunities with internet connectivity for both business and residents on the islands. This engagement process is a valuable way for us to gather input that will affect change in our communities.”
Earlier this year, the Government of Canada released Canada’s Connectivity Strategy which recognizes the internet service gap that exists between urban and rural areas. The Strategy designated a minimum level of connectivity and outlined the government’s commitment to collaborate with the private sector, provinces and municipalities in order to bridge that gap.
By developing an Internet Connectivity Plan that is community-based, the CRD is helping to ensure that future infrastructure investments represent how islanders want to be connected. Connectivity plans can help guide infrastructure investments to be coordinated, scalable, provide value for money and achieve priority objectives for the area.
Public engagement is a key priority of this project. The project team includes contracted representatives on each of the outer Southern Gulf Islands to bring local knowledge and ensure broad consultation targeting residents, island businesses (including home-based businesses and remote workers) and community/emergency services.
Community members who would like to learn more about the project and provide input can do so in several ways. A speed test survey and a survey for businesses are currently available online and a home internet survey will be available later this fall. Connectivity planning workshops will also be held on the islands:
Once completed, the community-based Internet Connectivity Plan will be made public and advanced as a guide for internet service providers to facilitate infrastructure investment decisions and attract government funding.
For more information on the project, please visit www.crd.bc.ca/sgiconnect or contact Justine Starke, Manager, SGI Service Delivery (CRD) at 250.360.3275
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications