Rossland will be participating of the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation’s plan to connect the Columbia Basin with high speed broadband internet.
The decision came about in an in-camera meeting after the regular council meeting and was declassified.
Coun. Jody Blomme, was glad to hear the news, as she had been pushing for Rossland’s involvement from the time she first attended one of the presentations put on by the CBBT.
The CBBT is a subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust.
Blomme said that while the motion does leave a wide variety of options for how the city will implement the broadband, it recognizes the need to commit.
“Just imagine, Trail has committed to this and so if people are thinking of moving to the area and they need access to that broadband then they’re going to work or even live down in Trail as opposed to Rossland,” Blomme said.
The next step is to make the commitment official with CBT and then follow their lead. Blomme said the city has laid conduit, the pipes that carry the broadband fibre, over the course of the Columbia infrastructure project. Fibre would be the next step in the physical process of installing the broadband.
Blomme said that one of the points the economic development task force in Rossland put forth in a report was the opportunity for Rossland to attract internet based entrepreneurs – people who depend on servers and the internet to work away from their company.
“One of the things that they said they wanted to focus on is to be appealing to nomadic entrepreneurs,” she said. “This is a huge step towards that. We need good broadband to attract the nomadic entrepreneurs.”
On Monday, the motion: That council commit to cbbc to extend the fibre to City hall, other municipal buildings and the downtown core.” passed.
The CAO’s report stated that the investment should be viewed as a long term one and it is unlikely that the financial return merits the investment.
“However, Rossland must recognize, that like other communities in close proximity to each other, it competes to attract people and resources. Hence the investment is not immediately recovered until sometime in the distant future.
The report estimated the incremental investment to be up to $170,000, which doesn’t include the museum.
“This investment must be viewed as maintaining equilibrium with other communities. It is a policy initiative relating to advancing the City into the future.”
Council still hasn’t heard the full details on the project, as the task force that looked into it didn’t include any of council, but rather city staff and some of the internet user businesses.
Blomme was also happy to say that council had voted unanimously for the motion to support the CBBC initiative.
“At the beginning, there was a sense that there would be some push-back, but there wasn’t,” she said.