In 2014 accessing high-speed broadband will become a reality for Nelson businesses. One of the biggest drivers behind investing in a fibre-optic network is the economic stimulus that a state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure creates for a community.
“For our business, the potential of broadband is exciting. We produce high definition film and television programs. The opportunity to deliver our product on a global level while being located in Nelson is a huge advantage,” said Jeremy Grant, creative director at Freeride Entertainment.
“Currently we FedEx our productions on a hard drive to clients in locations such as Hollywood and Austria — which takes two days. In crazy time crunches, we’ve actually flown someone to L.A. to hand-deliver the hard drive. It’d be way more efficient to send video over a high-capacity broadband channel,” adds Grant.
The Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership has played a pivotal role in making high-speed broadband a reality in Nelson.
The partners collaborate in pursuit of local economic growth and the group represents the City of Nelson, the Regional District of the Central Kootenay (Areas E and F), the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Central Kootenay.
The partnership has researched broadband models implemented in other communities to identify best practices for delivering broadband.
Local focus group and business survey results informed the partnership and the Nelson Broadband Advisory committee of the information technology needs of the Nelson business community.
Because business’ IT landscapes are so varied, ranging from simple to very complex, an array of broadband services is being designed in collaboration with local service providers to meet the needs of Nelson businesses.
“In the insurance industry, we are constantly using and sending large electronic files. There are times where I have literally had to wait several minutes for image files to send on our current connection,” says Tammy Darough, general manager at RHC Insurance. “Being a business with multiple branches in the West Kootenay and being completely reliant on the Internet, broadband service would be a major improvement.”
The partnership is currently working with local Internet service providers to create a variety of service of packages. Details will be finalized and announced in the spring.
Next on the agenda for the broadband project is zeroing in on educating and informing the business community. Helping business owners take advantage of Nelson’s new state-of-the-art, fibre-optic network is the partnership’s next goal.
Community Futures will be offering broadband workshops to educate building owners and the local business community.
Attendees will learn about the differences in speed of broadband versus existing technology, trends in broadband application, applications for broadband that improve productivity and new opportunities to grow business through the use of broadband.