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Improved cellular coverage on the way for Takla Lake residents

November 17, 2022 at 12:03 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Residents of North Tacla Lake 7 and surrounding areas near Takla Lake can look forward to improved cellular connectivity and faster internet with the construction of a new cellular tower.

“Everyone has a right to quality high-speed internet. Connecting every rural, remote and Indigenous community in B.C. by 2027 continues to be a top priority for our government,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “This tower will help residents of North Tacla Lake 7 and Takla Lake feel more connected to services, friends and family, and help people access more opportunities in business and education.”

With the installation of a cellular infrastructure, residents of North Tacla Lake 7 of Takla First Nation and visitors to Takla Lake will be able to rely on 5.3 kilometres of road coverage within the Nation community. It will bring improved internet connectivity and enable access to voice, data and emergency 911 service.

“Takla Nation is excited to be moving forward with cellular connections in the community, as this will add a whole new dimension to how we communicate from our remote location to the world,” said Scott Hickling, general manager, operations, Takla Nation. “The collaboration with Telus is first steps to ensuring a safe community for members and a vital link that has not been available prior. We look forward to this upgrade to the Nation.”

The Province has allocated as much as $2 million through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, for a total project cost of as much as $2.3 million. Telus Communications Inc. will contribute as much as $231,000.

“Through this investment, 93 households in North Tacla Lake 7 will be able to connect to reliable 4G LTE service. This is another step in closing the digital divide in B.C. and opening doors to new opportunities for area residents,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “Improved connectivity will support Takla Nation’s growing tourism-based business ventures, which will create impactful economic benefits. Members will also gain new access to virtual health care, online learning and other aspects of today’s connected world from the comfort of their homes.”

The Province’s investment is part of the StrongerBC, B.C.’s Economic Plan to build back a strong economy with a focus on inclusive growth for all communities.

“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live,” said Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, Telus. “As part of our ongoing commitment to better enable rural and Indigenous communities throughout the province, we are proud to work alongside Takla Nation and the Government of British Columbia to bring critical wireless connectivity to the community for the first time, equipping residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most. Perhaps most importantly, this investment provides new wireless coverage to roadways throughout the community, making travel safer for Takla Nation members and visitors.”

In March 2022, the Province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to the remaining rural and First Nations communities that are underserved.

The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet services by 2027 will level the playing field for British Columbians and ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training and health care.

Learn More:

Connectivity in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc

Northern Development Initiative Trust: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/connecting-british-columbia/

StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan

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