Chilcotin Holidays: Not your everyday Internet installation

September 26, 2016

You already know Xplornet connects the hard to reach places in Canada to high-speed Internet service. But do you know what it takes to connect some of those places? Canada is a vast country with diverse topography – Xplornet is always up to the challenge of connecting Canadians, but sometimes, it takes a bit more creative thinking to get it done.

Welcome to the South Chilcotin Mountains in B.C.

The South Chilcotin Mountains are home to Chilcotin Holidays. It’s one of British Columbia’s premier remote wilderness and adventure tour operators, and it has been connecting travelers to nature through authentic wilderness experiences for over 25 years. Its personalized adventures range from horse pack expeditions to learning how to build your own log cabin.

A need for more high speed

Chilcotin Holidays already uses Xplornet Internet at some of their locations to connect its employees and guests to the Internet. So, when Ed McMurray, IT support and part-time guide, and Kevan Bracewell, owner, realized they needed to connect another one of their remote base camps, they knew who to call!

Working with the Xplornet dealer in the area, RTF SatComm, Ed and Kevan started planning out their new installation. Their goal was to extend one of their English as a second language programs to a remote base camp near Spruce Lake. For this program to work, they would need high-speed Internet and home phone service. The challenge? There would be a minimum 6-hour horseback trip to the base camp.

Getting ready

Ed and RTF SatComm began the planning process: the equipment would be prepared while at the main ranch to ensure that everything was functioning properly before the 6-hour journey, and they built a wooden crate to protect the Xplornet Internet equipment on the way to Spruce Lake. Since they were going by horseback, they only carried the tools they needed to keep the weight of their packs down.

Embarking on the journey to Spruce Lake

Ed and his wrangler were up at 5:30AM to begin loading up the horses and by 8:30, they were off! The first 3 hours of the journey passed with no issues. But Canada’s wilderness wouldn’t be beat that easily! As they continued their trip, the trail began to narrow and the wooden crate protecting the dish snagged on some of the trees. The weight of the dish was getting shifted from all the snagging and bumpiness, so on 9 different occasions, they had to adjust and redistribute the weight on the horses. All in all, the entire journey took 9 hours – longer than they expected, but they made it! Now came the fun part.

Putting the pieces together

The cabin at the base camp was surrounded by nothing but trees, which made it a challenge to find a good location for the satellite dish. They tried mounting the dish in several locations with no luck. Finally, they decided to make their way up a 40-foot tree and pruned some branches – this gave them a clear line of sight to the southern sky. Thanks to this creative thinking, the installation was successfully completed and the Internet was up and running for the Spruce Lake base camp!

“Having access to Xplornet’s services has revolutionized the way we operate our business,” said Kevan after the installation. “10 years ago, we were using dial-up for our business. Today, we have 3 Xplornet satellite solutions. These services empower our ability to manage day-to-day customer inquiries, web updates for www.chilcotinholidays.com and support our off season marketing.”

Everyone should have access to high-speed Internet, even in the most remote locations. Thanks to their determination and creative thinking, Chilcotin Holidays can now enjoy all the Internet has to offer!