The CCCS is used to dealing with extreme situations, but wildfires have posed additional challenges (CCCS photo)

CCCS faces challenges in wildfire; works to improve local communications

The CCCS has made a number of changes to the local network to improve in-Valley communication

The CCCS has made a number of changes to the local network to improve Valley communication in the event of an emergency.

Many community members were alarmed by a recent announcement last week that damage sustained to the fibre infrastructure in Riske Creek could result in a communications “blackout” locally. Internet, cell phone, and long-distance calling services are all delivered through Telus’s infrastructure, with CCCS being the main internet provider for the Valley.

During a regular day the CCCS faces a number of various challenges related to the topography, terrain, and isolation of the Valley. Typically their greatest challenges are in the winter, when their mountain sites get buried in snow, their solar panels become encased in ice, and generally harsh weather makes service trips difficult.

This summer has brought a different scenario. Raging wildfires across the Chilcotin Plateau have severely compromised Telus’s ability to fix the system should it be damaged.

“We rely on Telus as our backhaul carrier; they transport data to and from the valley, connecting us across the plateau to the wider world. The failure of this relay at any link would be instant lights-out for us,” said CCCS staff. “Telus is pretty good at fixing stuff, but with the fire situation still quite volatile and likely to complicate repairs, there’s a real potential for us to go offline with no notice, and stay down for a while. And it’s not just internet; our cell data is transported on that same route.”

The potential for an emergency situation led to the creation of a portal for in-Valley communication that would remain active should Telus’s network become too compromised to provide service or inaccessible to fix for a given period of time.

“One measure we’ve taken is the creation of an in-Valley messaging system; it’s a standards-based chat system much like Google-hangouts or Skype, although it’s text-only for now,” said CCCS staff. “We host it locally on our own server, so it will work even if we get disconnected from the wider world. Anyone who wants a personal account can have one, and we’ve also setup a public chatroom on our website (http://belco.bc.ca/chat) that allows anonymous participation – the idea is to make it as easy and quick as possible to get and give information. Anyone with WIFI in the valley can use it to communicate.”

For more information on the CCCS and the services they provide, give them a call on their toll-free number 1-844-982-0094, find them on Facebook, through their website www.belco.bc.ca, or email them at cccsbellacoola@gmail.com

Just Posted

Twenty-two percent of Bella Coola residents rely on Food Bank

Demand for Christmas Hampers up by 45 families this year

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Verdict to be delivered December 15 for three on trial in Anahim murders

The fates of Christian Craciun, Andrew Jongbloets, and Serena Rhem (Mack) will be decided on December 15 at 10am.

‘I fell asleep’ admits second mate in Nathan E. Stewart fuel spill

The tug spilled more than 100,000 litres of diesel off B.C.’s northern coast

Northwest’s new MRI hits milestone

Stakeholders celebrate 500th scan of diagnostic imaging device

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

New 28-space daycare centre to open in Hagensborg in 2018

SD 49 will receive $415,698 to create 28 new spaces at the new Hagensborg Daycare Centre

Accused NYC subway bomber expected to face federal charges

Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged Tuesday with terrorism and weapons related charges

Strategy announced for Indigenous cancer care

Various stakeholders have come together to provide a road map from prevention to survivorship

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

B.C. Conservatives applaud Site C decision

B.C. Conservatives happy with government decision to proceed

Hwy. 1 avalanche improvements promise less delays

B.C.’s new remote avalanche-control systems near Revelstoke are ready for avalanche season

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Most Read