The Fort St. James TV and Radio Society has recently brought Wi-Fi internet to Cottonwood Park and marina located on the shores of Stuart Lake.
Keeping in tradition with the TV and Radio Society’s founding which was the result of a referendum, the addition of the Wi-Fi comes after the TV Society deemed it a matter of interest from the towns people. The service is free to use for the public and is not password protected.
“It was something the community has expressed an interest and desire,” said Chester Heibert, a director with the TV and Radio Society.
The Wi-Fi is a cooperative effort between the TV and Radio Society and the regional internet service provider. By working together they can provide a clear and strong signal that benefits all those who visit the park.
The TV and Radio Society also have plans to increase their Wi-Fi availability throughout the town with the next place on their list being the town medical clinic.
Money for the Wi-Fi services and others are funded through the TV and Radio’s tax base as well as profits from their television and radio services.
The group which is also heavily invested in the town are planning to start a mentorship program that encourages youth in the community to get involved in the society, be via radio, television, internet or electronics.
Volunteer run, the organization and efforts such as the Wi-Fi are labours of love, when asked why they volunteer, Chester Heibert said, “the quality of a community is measured by the number of societies that exist to serve it.”
The TV Society is responsible for numerous other services in the area and Wi-Fi is only their latest initiative. The operate a locally owned and volunteer run television service provider that covers local and international content as well as six different radio stations through the region – they can do this because of the three broadcasting towers they have built on the towns three largest mountains, Murray Ridge, Mt. Dickenson and Mt. Neal.