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Connecting communities in the B.C. Interior

June 13, 2024 at 5:30 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

From Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2024/06/connecting-communities-in-the-bc-interior.html

Backgrounder: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2024/06/backgrounder-governments-of-canada-and-british-columbia-to-bring-high-speed-internet-access-to-communities-in-british-columbia.html

Fairness for every generation means making sure everyone in Canada has access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. That is why the governments of Canada and British Columbia are bringing high-speed Internet access to underserved communities in British Columbia.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, together with the Honourable George Chow, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced over $37 million in federal and provincial funding for two projects (canada.ca)  by Telus Communications Company to bring high-speed Internet access to more than 1,900 households, including 54 Indigenous households, in central British Columbia.

The federal and provincial funding commitments made today are part of an existing agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia. In March 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership (canada.ca)  to invest up to $830 million to connect households in all remaining rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout the province to high-speed Internet.

Everyone in Canada will have access to high-speed Internet by 2030, and 98% of Canadians will be connected by 2026. Canada is on track to meet its 2026 connectivity targets. These projects will contribute to reaching that goal, and the government will continue to invest in infrastructure that creates new opportunities in communities to make sure they can benefit from all of Canada’s potential.

Quotes:

“High-speed Internet is no longer considered just a luxury. The federal government funding committed today will bring reliable high-speed Internet to more than 1,900 underserved homes in 12 communities in central British Columbia. Communities, large and small, need a reliable connection to grow their potential in this digital world.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Expanding high-speed Internet builds resilient communities where people can thrive. Today’s announcement means more people in the Cariboo region can access online services and business and employment opportunities, which helps grow the local economy. We are committed to providing every household with high-speed Internet access by 2027 so we can continue building a stronger B.C.”
– The Honourable George Chow, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services

“TELUS is proud to partner with the governments of Canada and British Columbia to provide reliable high-speed Internet access to underserved communities across the Cariboo region. Connectivity is essential for accessing education and robust health care and for growing businesses. It is an essential economic and social equalizer for all Canadians and especially for those living in remote and rural settings. Through these projects, residents and businesses can now better participate in the digital economy, improve safety and resilience, and stay connected to what matters most.”
– Shazia Zeb Sobani, Vice-President of Customer Network Planning, TELUS

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
  • The Universal Broadband Fund is a $3.225 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help provide high-speed Internet access to 98% of Canadians by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% access by 2030.
  • Today, 93.5% of Canadian households have access to high-speed Internet, compared to just 79% in 2014.
  • Currently, 95.2% of households in British Columbia are connected to high-speed Internet.
  • In March 2022, Canada and British Columbia announced a broadband partnership. This agreement represents a plan to connect all remaining rural households in British Columbia to high-speed Internet through a total combined investment of up to $830 million.
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested over $533 million in connectivity projects in British Columbia.
  • Since 2017, the Government of British Columbia has invested $584 million in connectivity projects in the province.

Associated links

Contacts

Government of Canada

Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and
Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
[email protected]

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
[email protected]

Government of British Columbia

Media Relations
Ministry of Citizens’ Services
250 889-8370

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