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High-speed internet services expanded for more Cariboo communities

January 20, 2023 at 10:15 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More than 1,300 households in six more communities in the Cariboo now have access to high-speed internet services with the installation of new connectivty infrastructure.

“Rural communities are an essential part of the Province’s economic engine. With the completion of this project, people in these six communities in the Cariboo can now enjoy high-speed internet services allowing access to a wide range of local and global opportunities,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Our commitment to connect every rural, remote and Indigenous community in B.C. by 2027 ensures the benefits of high-speed internet are shared by everyone in B.C.”

Installation of new fibre to the home infrastructure in Likely, Hydraulic, 150 Mile House, Miocene, Bridge Lake and Dugan Lake provides access to high-speed broadband internet speeds of more than 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, and 10 Mbps for uploads.

The Province invested as much as $1.68 million, alongside a federal government contribution of as much as $1.69 million and up to a $2.5-million investment by Telus Communications Inc. toward the approximate $5.9 million total cost of the project.

“Establishing better connectivity for our rural and remote communities supports the work of communities and the Province of B.C. to build an innovative, sustainable and inclusive economy for all,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “Access to high-speed internet services will open up more opportunities for people and businesses in these communities to grow, connect, learn and live up to their enormous potential.”

“The upgraded internet services that are now available in 150 Mile House, Dugan Lake, Miocene, Likely, and Hydraulic are greatly appreciated, and essential to ensuring that residents of these communities have equal access to the digital world,” said Maureen LeBourdais, Electoral Area F Director for Horsefly – Likely – 150 Mile House, Cariboo Regional District. “Access to high-speed internet is a key driver of economic sustainability and opportunities, supports our public safety and emergency management efforts, and is essential to the future of our rural communities.”

The work to expand infrastructure enabling high-speed internet access for remote and rural communities in the Cariboo has been ongoing, with multiple projects completed recently and more to come. December 2022 saw the completion of a project connecting more than 700 households in the Deka Lake and Ruth Lake communities. Earlier in June 2022, the installation of new fibre to home connected more than 1,200 households in 15 communities, including four First Nations communities, in the Cariboo region.

The Province will also invest as much as $1.3 million toward a new $2.1-million project to expand high-speed internet to more than 300 households in the community of Sheridan Lake. Internet service provider Telus Communications Inc. will contribute approximately $828,000 toward the project.

“Connecting the Cariboo region to the world with high-speed internet continues to be a priority for the regional district, and I am pleased to see these critical upgrades completed,” said Margo Wagner, chair, Cariboo Regional District, and chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “There remains significant work to be completed throughout our region, and we will continue working with the Province and our broadband service providers to strategically expand high-speed internet upgrades in our region.”

In March 2022, the Province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to connect all remaining rural and First Nations households in the Province.

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.

Quotes:

Gudie Hutchings, federal Minister of Rural Economic Development –

“We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of British Columbia has access to reliable high-speed Internet. The Government of Canada is proud to partner with the Province of British Columbia to connect households in the Cariboo region, and we are happy to see this project completed. Since 2015, the federal government has invested over $524 million to improve connectivity across British Columbia, and we will continue to make investments to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”

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

“Today’s announcement by the Government of British Columbia will ensure more British Columbians living in rural communities have the technology they need to fully participate in today’s digital world. In partnership with government, we are proud to have connected six more communities in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region and an additional 1,300 premises to our Pure Fibre network, equipping residents and businesses with the unmatched Internet capacity and speeds they need.”

Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust –

“The completion of this project is another valuable link in connecting every community in B.C. to reliable, high-speed internet. By providing residents and businesses in six rural communities with this resource, people are able to access new economic opportunities, participate in distance learning, build personal connections and virtually share the Cariboo with the world.”

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: BC’s Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan

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