Tuesday, June 25, 2019

COURTENAY – There is a significant gap between broadband service levels in urban and rural British Columbia.  With funding support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust, Denman Island and Hornby Island will soon be embarking on a comprehensive connectivity planning process.

Led by the Hornby Island Community Economic Enhancement Corporation in partnership with the Denman Island Internet Committee, this project will define the two communities’ digital aspirations and transform them into a concrete, actionable roadmap to build out the required last-mile connectivity infrastructure. 

Following the principles outlined in the Province of BC’s Connected Communities framework, the project will engage residents, businesses, local governments and associations in a consultation process to assess community needs and aspirations. The resulting feedback will be directly translated into infrastructure design specifications, costing and operational plans for implementation.

“The Islands are historically ‘have-nots’ in the digital age,” explained Karen Ross, Economic Enhancement Officer for the Hornby Island Community Economic Enhancement Corporation. “A well drafted digital roadmap will be the first step toward closing the digital divide for our communities.”

The project is supported through ICET’s Economic Development Readiness Program, Broadband Planning funding stream, which provides up to $10,000 in matching funding for communities engaging in proactive planning to improve connectivity.

“Today, access to high speed internet is a basic need, especially for rural, remote and Island communities,” said ICET Chair Josie Osborne. “From distance education, to telehealth or working remotely, digital capability is now considered a fundamental requirement to attract and retain younger residents, remote workers and the modern entrepreneur.”

The completed plans will provide the communities with the business case required to access government funding for last-mile infrastructure, or to attract investment from telecommunications providers.

“It is clear that communities ready and willing will be the first to receive assistance, and this funding will help us develop the business case we need to be ready to play,” added Karen Ross

The project is expected to get underway in the fall with completion anticipated within a year.

About the Island Coastal Economic Trust

Created and capitalized by the Province of BC, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has been at the forefront of economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization for the past twelve years.

ICET is independently governed by a Board of Directors and two Regional Advisory Committees which include more than 50 locally elected officials, MLAs and appointees from the Island and Coast. This exceptional team of leaders collaborate to set regional priorities and build vital multi-regional networks.

Through a community centered decision-making process, ICET has approved more than $52 million in funding for over 200 economic infrastructure and economic development readiness projects. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2600 long term permanent jobs.

A full overview of ICET can be found at

For further information:

Line Robert, CEO
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 227)

Mayor Josie Osborne, ICET Chair
District of Tofino
Tel. 250-725-3229

Karen Ross
Hornby Island Community Economic Enhancement Corporation
Tel. 250-335-1455

ICET By The Numbers

person years employment created (construction phase)

ICET By The Numbers

locally elected officials and MLAs working together

ICET By The Numbers

million annual provincial government revenue generated

ICET By The Numbers

post completion jobs created

ICET By The Numbers

dollars leveraged for every ICET dollar invested

ICET By The Numbers

million leveraged into the region

ICET By The Numbers

million disbursed

ICET By The Numbers

million committed

ICET By The Numbers

economic development projects

ICET By The Numbers

projects completed

ICET By The Numbers

projects in small (less than 5,000) communities

ICET By The Numbers

communities with ICET projects

2020-2022 Strategic Plan

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