ESIS is an incorporated not-for-profit internet society formed with the goal of bringing affordable and reliable high-speed internet service to Crawford Bay and surrounding central Kootenay Lake communities.
Established in 2005 by local citizens who recognized the growing need for broadband access, its importance to rural community sustainability, and an opportunity to partner with the Government of British Columbia and Telus in the Connection Communities Agreement, ESIS is a grass roots organization mandated to plan, build and operate a community owned wireless network delivering last mile connectivity to area residents, visitors, businesses and organizations. ESIS embodies the spirit of a co-op, working on behalf of its membership, and a strong commitment to the public trust, with operations firmly based on sound business and technical practises.
Today, through a growing wireless network that now extends well beyond Crawford Bay to service the outlying communities of Gray Creek, Kootenay Bay, Pilot Bay, Riondel Road, Ainsworth, Queens Bay, Mountain Shores, Boswell and Sanca, ESIS has over 575 subscribing households, businesses and organizations, providing enhanced connectivity to the world for hundreds of local residents and visitors.
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, expanding coverage and improving service. 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 who share the vision of ubiquitous, accessible connectivity for the entire Kootenay Lake Valley. ESIS supports and promotes cooperative relationships between our like minded regional organizations, participating in the free exchange of information and resources; the truth be told, we each owe a good measure of our successes to the open sharing we’ve enjoyed between us to date. As our respective independent networks mature the ultimate goal is to build upon this and establish peering connections between them, forming the basis of a lake spanning wireless network from an association of autonomous, community-based organizations.
Beyond infrastructure, ESIS is also committed to capacity development, supporting Information Communication Technology education and network resource utilization among our subscribers, individuals, community organizations and businesses alike. A strong community player, ESIS seeks partnerships with other community organizations, in support and promotion of their efforts to improve local quality of life. ESIS looks for opportunities to involve youth in our operation, creating opportunities for IT education and employment, and other ventures with directly benefit youth in our communities.
Thanks and gratitude to Network BC, Telus, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Area A Economic Development Committee, Nelson & District Credit Union, Columbia Basin Trust, Community Futures, the Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses and individuals for their vision and generous financial and material support toward the realization of our goals; none of this would have been possible without your partnership. Hats off to the British Columbia Community Connectivity Cooperative, BC3, which was instrumental in lighting our way from the start; their mentoring efforts led to finding “Community Champions” here and in other rural communities, got groups of us face-to-face with each other for what has become an ongoing dialogue, and provided invaluable support, information and encouragement. Thanks also to local community volunteers who contributed and continue to do so, literally thousands of hours of their own time plus personal resources toward building and growing our community network; it is amazing what an be accomplished by a small community when personal interests align with community needs! Lastly, but far from least, thanks also to the many, many local people who gave us their vote of confidence by becoming members of ESIS and patrons of our community network’s services – it is your network, build and maintained for you, because of you!