The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce has been holding information meetings to educate the community about the benefits of installing broadband Internet and the potential business applications of the technology.

Excitement builds for broadband

Applications include opportunities for Nelson businesses.

Nelson is throwing support behind large-scale broadband infrastructure, and with installation already complete at a number of Baker Street businesses, local hotels and Selkirk College, encouraging results are already self-evident.

“Everyone in the tech community is really excited,” said Simeon Pilipishen, operations manager for DHC Communications. “All the nerds are chomping at the bit.”

Thus far, broadband has been primarily utilized for ultra-fast Internet connections, but there are a variety of business applications which will significantly impact operating budgets and the general cost of doing business in Nelson. These include off-site local backup, hosted servers and Internet-based telephones.

Pilipishen put these burgeoning technologies into layman’s terms for the Star during an interview this week. He said off-site local backup enables businesses to store their data locally, but doesn’t require hardware on site.

“It doesn’t go to some weird cloud in the US, at some place where you can never reach anybody,” he said. “It’s right here locally, in Nelson.”

As for hosted servers, Pilipishen said the majority of local businesses use accounting software and business applications, which requires access to a server-type computer. With broadband technology they can run their system off the fibre network much easier and faster by moving servers to a “local cloud.”

“You don’t have to worry about backup or maintaining computer hardware, as everything is stored in a local secure data centre. It also frees up office space and removes heat and power consumption from your office,” he said.

Internet-based telephones, according to Pilipishen, are going to affect local business’ bottom lines.

“It’s just a chance for people to save money. Up until now if you need a business telephone line you pay Telus for a copper cable to your location. That gets expensive. A lot of businesses we’ve seen are running 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 lines. That’s 80 bucks a month on a traditional Telus-type line. With Internet-based telephones it becomes approximately half that price.”

He said the technology will open up a brand new market, which has already been inundated with competing companies.

“It opens you up to multiple providers. It’s the wild west. You don’t like company A, you go to company B. It’s wide open,” he said.

Pilipishen said any business with multiple locations would be wise to convert their phone lines immediately.

“It creates efficiency. We’re connecting offices together. It creates better collaboration between workers, shared computing resources.”

Essentially, it allows employees to do their work from literally anywhere world-wide that has a decent Internet connection.

These developments will give Nelson a competitive edge in the tech community, according to Mayor John Dooley and Tom Thomson, executive director of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce.

“We know from experience working with different groups provincially that rural communities with access to broadband are going to have significant advantages attracting and maintaining new business. It will become a critical part of our infrastructure,” said Dooley.

The mayor has been an outspoken proponent of the broadband initiative because he believes it will ultimately become a community utility not unlike sewer or water services. He said there is some confusion and skepticism in the community, mostly due to residents’ lack of familiarity with the cutting edge technology.

“The first thing I think is important for people thinking about broadband, is don’t make up your mind talking to providers, talking to city hall or the chamber of commerce. There are lots of misconceptions out there about what it’s going to do, what it’s going to cost, who can and can’t get it. And some people have an idea of what it is without understanding the benefits and value,” said Dooley.

Thomson said the feedback from broadband installers has been very positive. For instance, Hume Hotel general manager Ryan Martin has had it installed and is thrilled by the results.

“If you’ve got a hotel with everyone carrying in a laptop or a smartphone, all trying to access Wi-fi, it puts a real drain on the system,” Thomson said.

“If you get high speed from some of the major providers, you’re getting high speed but it’s only as high as they’re able to provide. They’ve not necessarily providing you with a dedicated strand of fibre coming into your building.”

Some technophobes have expressed hesitation about the cost of broadband installation, but Thomson believes their concerns are unfounded.

“Having a dedicated line, essentially you have 10 times the speed of anything available around, and the cost is significantly lower.”

Residents with questions about broadband can learn more at the website that has been built to educate the public at nelsonbroadband.com/

 

Just Posted

Nelson considers amnesty on parking fines

Drivers with backlogged fines would have until January to apply

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Leafs fall to Braves, Twitter fight breaks out

Nelson gave up two goals in the third en route to a 4-2 loss

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Kootenay music mentor crushed by stolen sax, sheet music

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or the Trail RCMP at 250.364.2566

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read