When the Town of Golden welcomed the Freeride World Tour in February 2018, a powerful broadband network became critical. FlexiNET Broadband, a local Internet service provider, worked with Columbia Basin Trust to make it happen.
This skiing and snowboarding event sparked a huge tourism boost for Golden when approximately 120 athletes, crew, sponsors and media descended on the town and Kicking Horse Resort—the only North American stop on the tour—along with thousands of spectators.
In order to provide these visitors with high-speed Wi-Fi, and support to media and operation teams, Tourism Golden reached out to FlexiNET to create a robust wireless Internet connection where there hadn’t been one before. It did so by working with the Trust’s broadband team to increase bandwidth, which gave the tour the capacity it needed.
“There were a number of challenges,” said Joanne Sweeting, Executive Director at Tourism Golden. “They needed multiple IP addresses, fast upload speeds (over 25 Mbps) to produce and distribute high-quality videos and space for up to 30 media and operation teams. The combination of these was difficult in Golden, a town where 5 Mbps is standard and no public space was set up with that capability.”
By connecting to the Trust’s high-speed fibre optic network, FlexiNET was able to provide the required IP addresses and increase in speed and capacity. Live streaming and immediate race results were shared around the globe. Videos uploaded in seconds, and the main race alone generated over four million live and replay video views. Overall, the event reached 250,000 viewers worldwide in the first week alone.
Thanks to Flexinet and the Trust’s support, Sweeting says the town has now proven it has the capability to host an event of this size. This will enable it to be more proactive in seeking other big events.
“I think this demonstrates to other Basin communities that struggle with similar issues of connectivity and resources that, with some creative thinking, collaboration and support, it’s possible to make things happen,” said Sweeting.
Basin residents have told the Trust that high-speed Internet connectivity is important to them. With broadband as one of its strategic priorities, the Trust works to develop, activate and maintain a regional fibre optic network, support Internet service providers and aid communities, local governments and others seeking to extend or improve Internet services.