Nelson Fibre Optic Utility
Nelson Fibre is a municipality owned dark fibre utility. Local service providers partner with the utility and end-users, to enable it for Internet, Network and Business services.
One of the many benefits of living in Nelson is that the city owns a power generation and distribution utility; Nelson Hydro. Not only does this benefit residents with some of the lowest electrical rates in North America, but it also allows the city to partner with Nelson Hydro to share infrastructure. Very few municipalities have this opportunity for cost sharing of the physical infrastructures.
Phase 1 - Network Costs Savings
Between 1998 and 2005 the city had the insight to connect Nelson Fire Rescue, Nelson Police, Touchstones museum, public works, Nelson Hydro, Nelson Public Library, and city hall, with fibre optics. This enabled the centralization of the phone systems, servers, and internet access, resulting in a savings of over $100,000 per year.
Phase 2 - Secure Anchor Tenants
In 2012, the Regional District partnered with the city of Nelson to run new fibre optic cable connecting their Lakeside offices with the community complex and city hall. The RDCK now saves substantially on communications costs and both parties benefit by sharing services such as GIS and communications.
In 2014, the city of Nelson and the Province of BC partnered to connect all of the schools and Selkirk College facilities over the fibre optic network. This opportunity allowed the fibre optic network to expand into Rosemont, Fairview, and Uphill. These educational sites can now benefit from speeds up to 1000 Mb per second to help provide learning tools to students and teachers within Nelson.
Phase 3 - Share with Local Organizations
When Nelson Hydro migrated their downtown primary overhead distribution power lines to underground, the city took the opportunity to install additional communications conduit. These conduits now provide downtown businesses the opportunity to connect to Nelson Fibre.
In 2015, the city started to provide the benefits of fibre optic technology to the local business community. Although the city has residential rates for potential downtown residents, the city has no current financial plans, or service providers, to deliver municipal fibre to residential communities in Nelson. The customer emphasis remains the business community and non-profit associations.
Any business that is interested in connecting is encouraged to first visit Nelson Broadband Project to review the information about rates, service providers and how to get connected. The fibre connection application, bylaws and relationship descriptions can be found there. After you have reviewed this information, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to proceed with the connection application.