Residents of rural communities to benefit from connectivity to high-speed Internet
VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC, Nov. 25, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with Michele Babchuk, Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Island, announced up to $24.7 million in federal and provincial funding to bring high-speed Internet access to over 5,000 households in rural communities in British Columbia.
As part of this announcement, $19.5 million in federal-provincial co-funding was announced to benefit 4,000 households in the following regional districts: Mount Waddington, North Coast, Bulkley-Nechako, qathet, Columbia-Shuswap, and Cowichan Valley. Details on these projects, including the specific communities to be served, will be announced at a later date.
A further $5.2 million in federal and provincial funding will bring high-speed Internet access to over 1,100 households on and around Vancouver Island through seven projects with CityWest.
This funding is part of an existing agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia. In March 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership to invest up to $830 million to connect all remaining rural, remote and Indigenous households throughout the province to high-speed Internet.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward making sure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.
“We all know that Internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age—it’s a necessity. Access to fast, reliable Internet helps communities by levelling the playing field so they can access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy, or simply connect with loved ones. Our government will continue to work side by side with our partners to achieve our connectivity targets and ensure every Canadian, no matter where they live, has access to high-speed Internet by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Connectivity is vital in today’s world. That’s why I’m excited to announce $24.7 million in joint provincial-federal funding to connect rural, remote and Indigenous communities to the high-speed Internet they deserve. Reliable, quality connectivity provides communities with access to the digital economy and to education and training, and it connects people to those who matter to them most. Today, we are one step closer to our goal of connecting all of British Columbia to high-speed Internet by 2027.”
– Michele Babchuk, Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Island
- The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $3.225 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.
- Today, 93.5% of Canadian households have access to high-speed Internet or are targeted to receive access through existing program commitments, compared to just 79% in 2014.
- 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.
- 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 more than $523 million in connectivity projects in British Columbia.
- Canada’s Connectivity Strategy
- High-Speed Internet Access Dashboard
- National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map
- Rural Economic Development
- High-speed Internet for all Canadians
- Backgrounder: Universal Broadband Fund and Telesat low Earth orbit capacity agreement
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada