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Fibre-optic transport enables high-speed internet from Trail to Nelson

June 13, 2024 at 8:56 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

A newly completed fibre-optic network between Trail and Nelson via Salmo will help increase capacity for the development of connectivity networks within the region.

The project is being led by Columbia Basin Trust. 

“By investing in reliable, high-speed internet and cellular services in rural communities, we are opening up economic and educational opportunities, as well as providing better access to services like virtual health care,” said Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “I am grateful to our partners and the workers who are building this essential infrastructure and for the benefits it will bring for people in our region.”

The infrastructure creates the opportunity for internet service providers to use the fibre-optic capacity to further develop the in-community networks that provide cellular and internet services.

Multiple projects are needed to bring faster high-speed internet to rural communities. This new project will provide transport capacity to communities along the route, including Erie, Hall, Meadows, Park Siding, Porto Rico, Ross Spur and Ymir.

“With the completion of this project, the Village of Salmo administration office, and School District 8’s Salmo elementary and secondary schools are now benefiting,” said Diana Lockwood, mayor of Salmo. “We’re thankful to all the partners who were involved in making this project a reality.”  

The project was funded with more than $3 million from the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. The Province contributed $500,000, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, and up to $821,000 from Columbia Basin Trust, as well as $400,000 from the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

Through StrongerBC: Good Lives in Strong Communities, the Province’s vision is to help build a brighter future for people in rural communities. Increasing connectivity also supports Clean and Competitive: A Blueprint for B.C.’s Industrial Future.

Quotes:

Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development –

“We all know how important high-speed internet access is to help rural communities and their residents fulfil their potential economically and socially. So, it’s exciting to see another great step in that direction as the result of good partnerships for the people of the West Kootenays. Our study last year showed that investments like this typically return between five and 10 dollars back in economic activity for every dollar invested, which is why we have committed to giving all of B.C. opportunities for high-speed connectivity by 2027.”

Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust –

“We are thrilled to announce the completion of the fibre-optic backbone between Trail and Nelson, which significantly enhances the capacity and reliability of internet services in the area — vital for education and daily life. This milestone brings immediate benefits to the Village of Salmo and its schools, with rural residents along the corridor soon gaining access to high-speed internet through local internet-service providers on Columbia Basin Trust’s network.”

Learn More:

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

Columbia Basin Trust: https://ourtrust.org/

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

Good Lives, Stronger Communities Rural Vision Report: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Good-Lives-Strong-Communities-2023.pdf

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