BCWARN is an association of amateur radio groups sharing the common goal of building a high-speed data network, capable of operating independent of commercial "internet" providers.
One of the goals of BCWARN participating groups is to assist in connecting Emergency Operations assets (EOC's, PEP HQ's, reception centers, etc) together with a common, independent network.
The BCWARN network allows its users to exchange information between the connected sites such as email, internet-chat, remote printing, VoIP telephone and fax calls, and virtually anything else that you would use the "internet" for, but without having to rely on commercial network infrastructure.
Note however, that during the majority of the time, there are gateways to the "internet" that allow traffic from BCWARN sites to communicate all over the world. However, should a major incident cause those gateways to fail, the BCWARN sites will still be able to communicate with each other and exchange their information.