Broadband project moving forward in Big Lakes County

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

A broadband pilot led by Big Lakes County will start under a regional authority.

At its Feb. 13 meeting, county council approved the organizing structure for what is to be called the ‘Big-Net’ project.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlines the role of the authority. Each partner in the pilot project appoints one elected member to the body.

“The MOU ensures that all partners agree they wish to participate in the development of a regional broadband pilot network within the boundaries of Big Lakes County,” says county CAO Jordan Panasiuk.

Each participating government organization will appoint one person as a liaison to the authority, to ensure reporting to the individual councils is achieved, Panasiuk adds. Richard Simard, the Big Lakes reeve is the county appointee.

Other partners in the project include the Towns of High Prairie and Swan Hills, East Prairie, Gift Lake and Peavine Metis Settlements, and Driftpile, Sucker Creek, Kapawe’no and Swan River First Nations. In earlier news reports, the M.D. of Lesser Slave River had been listed as a participant.

Council awarded a contract in July 25 of last year to develop broadband Internet service to Taylor Warwick and Magna Engineering Services and to contribute $466,157 as the county’s portion for the full cost of $521,630.

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