Information technology consultant Steve Eppley made a pitch to M.D. of Lesser Slave River council last week for M.D. participation in something called the Broadband Discovery Project. This is a scheme he’s been advising Big Lakes County on; the idea is for the municipality to install its own fibre optic system to its scattered residents and businesses, thus doing what the big players in information technology won’t do because it isn’t profitable.
Eppley said he was involved in a similar project in central Washington State some years ago; they banded together, bit the bullet and got it done. As a result, he said, much economic development has come their way.
“I know it’s a big investment,” he said. But “those who are ready are going to be first in line for grants.”
What’s wrong with the service people have now? Eppley was asked.
“There are limitations to wireless that aren’t going to go away,” he said.
Councillor Sandra Melzer of Flatbush said she’s very happy with her Internet.
“I’m not,” said Reeve Murray Kerik.
Eppley said Big Lakes County has decided to do a ‘last-mile’ fibre optic pilot project in Joussard.
“If they do it right,” he said, “they might have the best Internet in northern Alberta.”