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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.