THROUGH a combined investment of $45.4 million, the federal government in partnership with the B.C. Government is bringing new or improved high-speed internet to 154 rural and remote communities, enabling residents to get online.
Of these 154 communities, 44 First Nations will benefit.
“To be global digital economy leaders today and tomorrow, we need to invest in our broadband infrastructure,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “By partnering with the federal government, First Nations, local governments and the private sector, we will give our rural communities the foundation to grow their economies with fast and reliable internet connections.”
The funding was announced by Jane Philpott, federal Minister of Indigenous Services, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Sims, and Jennifer Rice, B.C. Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, at Canada Place.
“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury; it’s essential,” said Bains. “High-speed internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will able to participate fully in the digital economy.”
“Broadband internet is critical to ensuring quick and reliable access to educational resources, economic development opportunities and telehealth services,” said Philpott. “The federal government is proud to partner with the Province, First Nations, local communities and the private sector to bring high-speed Internet to unserved and underserved communities, including 44 First Nations, in British Columbia.”
This investment will help residents of these communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age. It will also help connect schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to networks that are essential to their services.
Friday’s investment includes new subsea fibre optic cable that will connect communities between Prince Rupert and Vancouver, as well as around Vancouver Island – a total of 3.5 million metres of cable. Thanks to this investment in high-capacity networks in remote and underserved communities, all British Columbians, including First Nations, will be able to fully participate in the digital economy.