Kaslo infoNet (KiN) is more than just a small rural non-profit Internet Service Provider. We are outperforming the big telecom companies with quality of service and doing so at lower cost to subscribers. Last year we paid $400,000 into our local economy through our business, money that would otherwise have disappeared into the coffers of big corporations. And we hire local people and train them in important technical skills.
For our staff, working for KiN is more than just a job; it’s exciting to provide an essential service to the community along with co-workers who enjoy their work and work well together. When challenges arise, KiN staffers always rise to the occasion and find creative solutions. They deserve recognition:
Tyler Hamilton is our Network Administrator—a key person for planning fibre routing, programming the computer equipment that keeps KiN’s system working smoothly, customizing the office bookkeeping system and dealing with technical problems.
Sam Truchon is our Field Support Technician—he keeps our Internet service working, whether it’s KiN equipment in a subscriber’s house or part of our network—and he manages home fibre installations.
Stewart Coonce is our Construction Manager—he works with Tyler on fibre routing design and manages one and sometimes two construction crews to get fibre into the ground and up to individual homes.
Mark Thomson works with Tyler to implement the systems that KiN depends on to provide service and works with Sam to manage system problems.
Scott Gillies performs home installations and operates a mini-backhoe when we need to have two excavators working at the same time.
Eric Early works with Stewart on fibre construction, including fibre splicing and managing the construction crew when Stewart is unavailable.
Bueno Bauer is our primary mini-backhoe driver as well as a custom steel fabricator; he’s made a more efficient excavation bucket for fibre installation, fibre reel handlers and other equipment as needed.
Janet Pearson was our office manager during 2020, handling KiN’s bookkeeping, purchasing and inventory, & responding to phone calls. Starting this year, Hillary Schell will be taking over those duties.
During 2020 KiN commissioned 70 kilometres of underwater fibre that we’d laid in Kootenay Lake the previous year. We installed distribution cabinets, serving Larch Drive, three Shutty Bench locations, Schroeder Creek, Lost Ledge Campground, Lardeau, Argenta, Bulmers Pointe and Johnsons Landing in addition to Woodbury Village and Woodbury Creek. Each of those localities now can access gigabit capable fibre—a major expansion of KiN’s fibre service area. Underground fibre was laid throughout the Allen Addition, most of lower Kaslo and up to Arena Avenue, which will permit our fibre network to reach the area south of Kaslo. More than 500 fibre customers are now connected.
The pandemic is a challenge; our office has to be closed to visitors except by appointment; some of our equipment suppliers are unable to fill our orders and shipping costs have tripled—but we increased everyone’s bandwidth for free last year because our community needed it. We’ll continue to find creative solutions as we fulfill our objective—to provide the best possible service to the entire valley north of Queens Bay.
KiN’s volunteer Board members at present are Josée Bayeur, Jean-Michel Longval, Isaac Maxfield, Tim Ryan (Treasurer), Don Scarlett (Chair) and Dan Trobak. Mike Campbell served as a Board member until the end of 2020. All Board members attend monthly Jitsi meetings and devote considerable time to the management of KiN, often contributing their personal experience and talents. Board members are elected for two year terms; Josée, Tim and Don will be standing for re-election at the AGM and Isaac and Dan will seek election because they were appointed by the Board in January.