Lytton ISP opens rebuilt office on fire anniversary – Kamloops News
Photo: Kristen Holiday
Daniel Mundall, MLA Jackie Tegart, Mayor Jan Polderman and MLA Brad Vis cut the ribbon officially opening the first reconstruction in the village of Lytton since the fire a year ago.
A year after a fire leveled most of the village of Lytton, residents and government officials gathered just south of the town site, celebrating the opening of the first commercial reconstruction in the village since that day.
Lyttonnet, a local non-profit organization providing high-speed Internet access to approximately 1,000 customers in the communities of Lytton, Lillooet and Boston Bar, lost its main office and much of Lytton’s fiber optic network in the fire.
On Thursday, the community-owned and operated group opened a new office building on a Loring Way property, just minutes from its former site.
Daniel Mundall, administrator of the Lyttonnet network, said the group was “really thrilled” to see the office open.
“Not just for our own use as an administrative location, but I think it’s a positive element of hope for the community that something is starting to happen within the city limits,” Mundall said.
“Lytton has been through a lot, the people of Lytton have been through a lot. People have been everywhere over the last year, and to see things finally start to happen here, I think that’s a really positive thing for a lot of people.
Mundall said Lyttonnet was a former television company that was reformatted to serve the internet about 16 years ago.
“We serve a lot of our customers with fiber optics, much like you would see from the big providers, but you’re down town – that’s the difference – and you can get connectivity like you would get in an urban center,” Mundall said.
He said the nonprofit plans to “build back better than before”.
The new office is climate-proof, and the nonprofit says it has plans underway to build a climate-proof underground fiber optic network.
“We are working on a 110 kilometer connectivity corridor that will connect all communities between Boston Bar and Lillooet, including nine Indigenous communities. And we’re very excited about it,” he said.
“Previously, we were severely limited by the kind of capacity we could get in those rural areas, and so being able to open up that kind of free fiber corridor will give us the ability to serve people in that area with a lot of internet. better and faster than what we have been able to do before. And in a climate-resilient way,” he said.
Mundall said during last fall’s flooding, the local group was able to adapt quickly and was the only provider to offer connectivity for 911 services for several days.
“It highlights, as a grassroots organization, how you are able to adapt to the changing world which sometimes changes very quickly, and to be able to respond to the needs of the community and really serve people when they need it most.”
Brad Vis, MPP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, and Jackie Tegart, MPP for Fraser-Nicola, attended the inauguration.
“To be able to be here and see this beautiful new community-built facility is such a great beacon of hope,” Vis said.
Jan Polderman, mayor of the village of Lytton, said it was important that the community came together and helped build the Lyttonnet facility.
“[Lyttonnet is] is going to be a very important part of rebuilding Lytton as we seek to become a community of remote workers,” Polderman said.
“To do this, we need high-speed Internet. And we are very lucky to have Lyttonnet. … I look forward to many years of good service.
Tegart said Lyttonnet is innovative and visionary, run by a nonprofit board of directors made up of local residents.
“Their team lives here. They therefore love where they live and want to serve. And so to see the building being built by volunteers, to see the opening today is quite exciting,” Tegart said.
“I think this is one of the first steps in rebuilding Lytton. We’ve waited a long time. And it’s been quite frustrating. But good news today. Lyttonnet is open, the ribbon is cut and they’re ready to rebuild for the people of Lytton and the region.