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Faster internet going to 10 Indigenous, rural, remote island communities

November 8, 2022 at 9:56 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, Telus –

“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live. As part of our ongoing commitment to better enable rural and Indigenous communities throughout the province, we are proud to work alongside the Government of British Columbia to bring critical connectivity to remote communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, equipping residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most.”

Stefan Woloszyn, CEO, CityWest –

“We’re thrilled by today’s announcement to bring improved connectivity to more underserved communities. These last-mile fibre-optic projects will provide residents with urban-class connectivity, creating equal opportunities for more rural and remote British Columbians. We would like to express our thanks to the Province of B.C. and the federal government for their vision on ensuring that these communities are able to unlock their connectivity aspirations.”

Bob Rogers, electoral area director for Nanoose Bay, Nanaimo Regional District –

“High-speed internet is vital for equal access to the wide variety of online services now available. We appreciate the investment in our community and the opportunities that will open up for both residents and businesses in the area once the high-speed service is connected.”

Penny Cote, electoral area director for Sproat Lake, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District –

“This investment is welcome news for our community of Sproat Lake. Connectivity has become a vital piece of infrastructure for our residents, who are increasingly working from home while enjoying the rural lifestyle that is unique to the Sproat Lake community. This new high-speed connection will make it easier for them to do both.”

Edwin Grieve, electoral area C director, Comox Valley Regional District –

“Investing in local connectivity has been a priority for a number of years. During COVID-19, the issue became very real as residents were working from home and needing to complete daily activities online. We are thrilled to see reliable, high-speed service advancements within the Forbidden Plateau area to help bridge the divide and ensure residents can remain connected.”

Andrew Hory, chair, Regional District of Mount Waddington –

“Providing reliable high-speed internet to the communities in our area has been a keystone of our community development strategy for several years. We are very pleased to partner with the federal and provincial governments, contributing $190,000 toward the last-mile connection in seven of our coastal communities and helping advance the goal of universal internet coverage throughout the region.”

Kevin Jules, Legislative Vice Chief, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations (KCFN) and board member, Strathcona Regional District –

“We look forward to closing the digital divide in our community. Reliable high-speed internet will improve our ability to participate in online learning and health care, and allow us to easily connect with family living elsewhere. This is a huge step forward and will enable our community to take advantage of new opportunities to build and grow.”

Al Radke, chief administrative officer, qathet Regional District –

“High-speed internet provides our residents access to emergency services, educational opportunities, employment, and basic goods and services. The qathet Regional District is thrilled for this grant funding to address the connectivity divide in Van Anda on Texada Island. Participation in the digital world is critical for ensuring community resilience. Improved internet accessibility will support improved economic sustainability for our rural communities.”

Paul Brent, electoral area director for Southern Gulf Islands, Capital Regional District –

“Dependable high-speed internet service will support the social and economic sustainability of the island by reducing off-island ferry travel, opening access to online government services, supporting aging in place with options for telehealth, and enabling remote work and new opportunities for young families.”

Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust –

“These investments through the Connecting British Columbia program demonstrate that no community is an island in today’s digital landscape, even if they are located on an island. As hundreds of households gain access to reliable high-speed internet, people will be able to strengthen their connections to other people, ideas and services while continuing to enjoy their rural, island lifestyle. Doors will also open to new possibilities in the digital economy.”

Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum and Parliamentary Secretary for the New Economy –

“Reliable and fast internet connectivity is the backbone of the digital economy; it allows people to have equal access to services and opportunities comparable to urban centres. These investments in our communities will help support our commitment to building an economy that works for everyone in B.C.”

Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island –

“Access to high-speed internet is crucial for people living and working in rural and remote areas like the north Island communities of Telegraph Cove, Holberg, Kyuquot and Winter Harbour. It encourages community growth and economic strength by ensuring people can have access to opportunities for business, education, job training and access to services comparable to urban centres. I am thrilled to share this exciting news.”

Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtney-Comox –

“Connecting the province ensures every British Columbian can have access to similar quality of high-speed internet services no matter where they live. Connectivity expansion projects, like this one benefiting people in the Forbidden Plateau area of the Comox Valley, help ensure all people have equal access to high-speed internet in their communities, whether you live in a remote area or just next to an urban centre.”

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