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Shared Provincial Access Network / British Columbia. John Webb Director Telecommunications. Western Geography. SPAN/BC. SPAN/BC is a secure IP network running on an ATM backbone that currently connects: over 4,000 locations throughout the province including almost 350 towns,

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Shared Provincial Access Network / British Columbia

John Webb

Director Telecommunications



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SPAN/BC

  • SPAN/BC is a secure IP network running on an ATM backbone that currently connects:

    • over 4,000 locations throughout the province including almost 350 towns,

    • 2,000 educational institutions,

    • all provincial pharmacies,

    • some hospitals, and

    • more than 1,500 government locations


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What SPAN Offers to Communities

  • If there is no commercial internet available

  • And – there is a SPAN connection in the community

  • And there is capacity

  • The community can get access through SPAN

  • 20 communities or so are taking advantage of this


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Bella Coola Valley

  • Central coast community

  • SPAN connects with two-way satellite

  • Three schools, Ministry of Forests, Liquor Store, Library and Hospital

  • The community internet society connects 300 dialup accounts that include the band office local businesses and homes

  • Learning Centre And other community based non profits


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Nisga’a Lisims Government

  • Nisga’a live in the Nass Valley on the north coast

  • 4 communities ranging over 80k

  • Presently served by Telus microwave system

  • Very high cost data access

  • Schools in each community are part of the provincial system – we serve them with two way satellite as in Bella Coola


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Nisga’a (cont.)

  • Nisga’a plan to run fibre-optic cable down the valley and do a fibre swap with Telus

  • They will operate their own data network to connect their communities – Telus will continue POTs

  • Provincial Government network will put school traffic on the system and pay the new network providing cash flow

  • We will likely see similar arrangements with some of the BRAND projects



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First Nations Communities in BC

  • 32% of First Nations communities in Canada are in British Columbia (207/633)

  • Many are small – 200 persons or less and very remote

  • There is no telecommunications infrastructure serving many communities

  • Schools and health facilities are responsibility of federal government so provincial government IT infrastructure does not connect many of these communities


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BRAND

  • 50 applications for first round

  • Almost half by First Nations

  • 17 projects now producing business plans

  • 6 led by First Nations

  • Over 50 First Nations communities included in the 16 projects


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Government Pledge

  • Work to extend high-speed, broadband Internet access to every community in British Columbia through wireless technology, cable, phone lines and fibre optics.

  • Increase technology funding and digital infrastructure support to facilitate tele-health options that will expedite and improve treatments, and reduce travel requirements for northern and rural residents.

  • Devote special attention and resources to addressing the challenges and needs of aboriginal women and youth, and to helping aboriginal families bridge the digital divide.


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