There is nothing worse than rushing for the ferry only to find out there is a huge line. But now ferry passengers leaving Kootenay Bay can get a sneak peak at the wait before they leave home.
Bob Carter, who is the operations manager for the East Shore Internet Society, had thought up the idea for a webcam at the Kootenay Bay ferry terminal a while ago.
“I thought it would be a neat thing to do. We ended up getting a bit of funding from the economic development commission from Area A and we applied some of that funding to this project,” he said.
Carter lives in Crawford Bay and said he has already received a lot of positive feedback about the webcam.
“It’s been very popular. People think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. It is really handy and I’ve used it many times myself, especially when the little ferry was running, I would sit there and wonder do I go for the ferry and think ‘not yet, not yet. Ok now!’” he said.
Carter laughs at the fact that people think the webcam is the best project the East Shore Internet Society has done.
“Yeah, we provide internet, but the webcam is the best thing we’ve ever done,” he said.
Because of the success and popularity of the Kootenay Bay webcam, Carter said there is no discussion of putting a webcam at the Balfour terminal.
“We have to figure out the logistics, but I would like to make that happen,” he said.
The East Shore Internet Society is a not-for-profit organization, which Carter said runs like a business.
“Our focus is to be more service orientated and to improve the quality of life for our community. The webcam seemed like something that would benefit our community locally,” he said.
Not only is Carter the operations manager for the East Shore Internet Society but he is also the founder.
“It came out of involvement with the Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce in 2005, it was at the point when the provincial government was looking at ways of bridging the digital divide. They had funded an organization called the BC community connectivity cooperative,” he said.
The BC community connectivity cooperative was a mentoring organization that travelled around the province to help identify and mentor local community champions that would help build connectivity within communities.
The East Shore Internet Society stepped into create the connection when Telus was unable to take the final step, but did allow access to their fibre optic network at a discounted rate.
“It was up to the communities to do the rest. It really is a homegrown community network. It has been a tremendous amount of work and has required a great commitment from the community,” said Carter.
The webcam is available at webcams.theeastshore.ca. For more information on the East Shore Internet Society visit esis.theeastshore.ca.