Selkirk College boosts access to data and technology for researchers and learners

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Nestled in the West Kootenay region of B.C., Selkirk College is the Province’s oldest regional college and the first formed through a unique community referendum.

In a recent move, Selkirk committed to modernize their infrastructure and make new strategic investments in connectivity to boost access to data, technology and computing resources for researchers, learners and teachers. 

On June 17, the College was successful in rolling out vital new Advanced Network infrastructure at nine campus sites with up to 10 times the performance of their previous backbone. The project was made possible through the BCNET Integrated Network Project. Today, Selkirk College is well positioned for the future. 

“Making critical investments in technology infrastructure supports our five-year strategic plan and the mission of our institution,” claims Gary Leier, vice-president, College Services and chief financial officer at Selkirk College. “It brings us closer to our vision of making learning, inspiring, rewarding and relevant for students, the world and our community.”


Accelerating innovation for applied research and learning 

The newly launched dedicated high-speed, Advanced Network will bring massive capacity for digital collaboration to Selkirk’s applied research programs, support the creation of innovative services, and enhance its ability to attract prospective students within the region, across Canada and internationally.

"This is a watershed moment for applied research and innovation at Selkirk College and will increase our institution's capacity to serve communities and businesses in the region," says Dr. Terri MacDonald, BC Regional innovation chair in Rural Economic Development. "Researchers now have direct access to advanced research computing resources, supercomputers and data management facilities such as WestGrid via our new network connections."

"We have radically transformed our delivery model by working with BCNET, our partner the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, and community fibre providers in Nelson, Grand Forks and Kaslo," says Darrell Hicks, IT manager, Strategic Projects, IT Services Department at Selkirk College. 

"The increase in capacity of our infrastructure is virtually unheard of outside of urban areas. We now have an incredible 10-gigabit backbone between our six campus sites in Castlegar, Nelson and Trail and the capability to turn-up our three learning centres with a similar capacity in the near future. This connectivity is foundational to the delivery of all technology services at Selkirk College."   


Equal access for every institution by 2018

The addition of Selkirk College as a new participant of the Advanced Network means that BCNET is one step closer to connecting every higher education institution in the province to the BCNET Network. Today, 64 per cent of the sector connects to the BCNET backbone. Our goal is to link every public, post-secondary institution in B.C. by December 2018.

Located in the West Kootenay and Boundary region of B.C., Selkirk College consists of five campuses and three learning centres, educating almost 12,000 students each year.