Broad support

The recommendation of the city’s Broadband Task Force has now become the directive of the City of Rossland.

Option A it is.

The recommendation of the city’s Broadband Task Force has now become the directive of the City of Rossland.

On Monday night council approved the broadest initial scenario for the introduction of broadband Internet in the city with option A—the task force’s recommendation.

The city will now enter into the pole permit agreement with Fortis immediately, and proceed with recommended build plan recommended by the task force (subject to the receipt of minimum grants of $50,000).

City staff will also bring forward a bylaw authorizing the borrowing of up to $112,000 with a five-year term.

The option mitigates the risk of delaying a pole permit agreement with Fortis, and ensures the project can proceed as soon as there is certainty on the grant funding.

The task force iterated that the option was the closest of any to the objectives outlined in the OCP goals for Community Economic Development.

The option also has the best payback of any option, resulting in a net revenue flow and savings of $952 per month under conservative assumptions about uptake, assuming no grants were forthcoming.

The break even point on the project is 15 years.

Task force member Amber Hayes told council in the public presentation period of the meeting the option has great potential for cost savings to the City, as the regional municipalities connect with the capacity to share costs on IT-related services like data backup.

It also has potential to bring the city revenue—from non-Internet related services to subscribers, such as TV and phone.

The Rossland Broadband Task Force was appointed by Mayor Greg Granstrom in November, 2012, had been examining the issue of a potential fibre structure build in Rossland and connection to the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation’s (CBBC’s) open access network.

editor@rosslandnews.com