Faster internet coming to rural areas in northern B.C.

Provincial and federal funding announced for 33 communities

Areas of northern British Columbia will soon have faster internet services.

The Ministry of Citizens’ Services yesterday (Mar. 13) announced more funding for expanding high-speed internet across the north.

Shaw Communications received $7 million for fibre-optic cable along Highway 97 between Prince George and Dawson Creek, as well as $1.9 million for fibre-optic cable along Highway 99, between Whistler and Cache Creek.

The province also contributed $1.9 million to CityWest Cable and Telephone Corp. for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, and $400,000 to Gwaii Communications for communities on Haida Gwaii.

“This is not just an investment in high-speed internet, it’s an investment in the future for those living in rural, First Nations and Indigenous communities, so they have access to cutting-edge emergency services, high-quality health care, world-class education and improved ability to participate in the growing digital economy,” said Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims.

“By working with our federal and local partners, we are leveraging relationships to give people in these communities the same internet access as those living in major urban centres.”

The northern B.C. funding was announced as part of an event hosted by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, as the federal government committed a further $19,748,063 to these four projects, plus a fifth project with the Sts’ailes Band. The federal funding for five projects is through the federal Connect to Innovate program.

In total, with federal and provincial funding, these five projects will receive $38,265,697 as local partners contribute an additional $7,151,757.

Thirty-three B.C. communities, including 13 Indigenous communities, will benefit from this partnership.

“We are pleased to see British Columbia and its partners moving swiftly to bring reliable, high-speed internet access to communities across the province,” said Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Joel McKay.

“Connecting communities with limited or non-existent internet access provides a swift and substantial boost to regional economies.”

The statement did not indicate when work on the expansion will begin.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coast Mountain College sets up student emergency fund

It’ll provide grocery store gift cards for students affected by COVID-19 crisis

Northern Health moves reefer unit to Mills Memorial

The move is not related to COVID-19

RDKS developing strategy to bring higher internet speeds to remote areas

Results of public survey will help ISPs build business case for funding

UPDATE: Man drowns crossing Skeena River

59-year old Prince Rupert victim pronounced dead at Mills Memorial

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read