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Posted: January 16, 2020

Area E broadband gets regional push

Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors Jan. 10 unanimously agreed to a request from the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC) for up to $200,000 to provide a broadband connectivity project from Kimberley to Wasa Junction.

It also agreed to provide a letter of support to accompany grant applications to the Connecting BC and CRTC Broadband Fund programs.

The board agreed to chief financial officer Holly Ronnquist’s recommendation: “That Community Works Funds of up to $120,000 be granted to the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation to provide internet connectivity from Kimberley to the Wasa Junction and the July 2018 Community Works Fund Grant of $80,000 for connectivity to the St. Mary’s Valley and Meadowbrook areas be transferred to the Kimberley to Wasa Junction connectivity project.”

The CBBC is working on grant applications to the Connecting BC and CRTC Broadband Fund programs.

It has evaluated potential projects and “determined that a backbone build with points of presence (POP) from Kimberley to the Wasa Junction would be eligible for funding under the two programs, as the project is within the corridor of the eligible communities of Meadowbrook and Tata Creek. The overall budget is expected to be $1,620,000 with $200,000 (12%) from the RDEK,” Ronnquist’s report outlined.

In July 2018, the board approved a Community Works Fund (CWF) grant of $80,000 for connectivity to the St. Mary’s Valley and Meadowbrook areas.

“I hope this works,” said Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter following the Jan. 10 vote.

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Above image from Columbia Basin Trust

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