February News: ESIS and KiN Enter into a Cooperative Working Agreement
Posted February 1, 2017
One benefit that comes from being a not-for-profit internet society is the opportunity to collaborate and connect (rather than compete) with other like-minded organizations such as the Kaslo infoNet Society (KiN). Formed in 1996, KiN is dedicated to achieving local access to global information and creating a presence for the North Kootenay Lake communities on the World Wide Web. Over the past several years, KiN has ventured past wireless connectivity and into fiber optics.
Recently, ESIS and KiN have been in discussions to explore possible ways of collaborating in their shared mission to bring affordable and reliable high-speed internet service to Kootenay Lake communities. As of mid-January 2017, the two societies agreed develop a cooperative working agreement through which we will collaborate and share knowledge, particularly with regards to fibre optic infrastructure.
In order to develop its knowledge of fibre optic infrastructure and installation, ESIS and KiN will work together on fibre distributions KiN is already planning for 2017. KiN’s Board has agreed to support ESIS’ suggestion to begin the fibre collaboration as soon as possible.
With its new knowledge, ESIS aims to begin developing a long-term vision for installing fibre on the East Shore. Plans are now being mapped, and thanks to new funding opportunities on the horizon, ESIS sees the possibility of at least a pilot fibre project on the East Shore in the coming years.
Meanwhile, our Technical Support staff and volunteers continue to move forward with the Connecting Canadians project, most recently having relocated our Ainsworth Access Points from the Mermaid Lodge to the Ainsworth Hot Springs hotel rooftop for a more sustainable tower partnership. Equipment upgrades continue and latest news is that there are now only 25 older Trango radio units remaining in service. We are also pleased to share that largely thanks to equipment donated by Backwoods Solar, our Crystal Lake off-grid tower site is burning less than half the propane that was used last year.
Looking to the future, as long as the need remains and it is within our capacity to fill it, ESIS will continue to build out our infrastructure, expand coverage and improve service at the most affordable price. In recognition of other regional community networks and the shared mutual need to achieve sustainable scales of operation, ESIS is committed to working in collaboration with our neighbouring internet societies, such as KiN, who share the vision of accessible connectivity for the entire Kootenay Lake Valley. As our respective independent networks mature the ultimate goal is to build upon this and establish meaningful connections between them, forming the basis of a lake spanning wireless and fiber network from an association of autonomous, community-based organizations. On that note, a big thank you to all those who continue to choose ESIS as their internet service provider; it’s only through your continued support that we can thrive and put our shared community-minded values into practice.
Lastly, please note that as of February 1st, ESIS’ office will move to Room 10 in the Crawford Bay Motel. Our phone number remains the same as well as our office hours from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
Your East Shore Internet Society Board