Reliable and affordable high-speed internet provides British Columbians in rural and remote communities with better opportunities to learn, do business, access services and stay connected.
Connectivity is a powerful socio-economic driver that supports the delivery of accessible and responsive services that citizens count on.
Working to connect all British Columbians – regardless of where they live – is a priority for the Ministry of Citizens’ Services.
The Province works with other levels of government and the private sector, including large and small internet service providers, to improve connectivity throughout B.C.
Connecting British Columbia program:
- The Connecting British Columbia program helps enhance internet connectivity to underserved areas of the province.
- Northern Development Initiative Trust administers the provincewide program on behalf of the provincial government.
- The program helps improve internet speed for British Columbians living in rural and Indigenous communities with poor internet access.
- Since January 2018, more than $83 million in federal, provincial and partner funding has been announced to improve connectivity in B.C.
- This will help 187 rural communities, including 69 Indigenous communities, get closer to reliable access to high-speed internet.
- This funding was part of two announcements:
- In January, a $45.4-million federal and provincial investment in the Connected Coast was announced to connect 154 communities and 56 Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the coast with a sub-sea, fibre-optic cable.
- In March, British Columbia, the federal government and private-sector partners announced $38 million in funding for five major connectivity projects throughout the province, which will benefit 33 communities, including 13 Indigenous communities.
- Digital connectivity is an important step forward in government’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations through the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Digital connectivity is foundational to the way society does business today. Connecting Indigenous communities to high-speed internet helps provide more equitable access to education and health resources, and provides new opportunities for economic growth.
- Presently, approximately 25% of British Columbia’s First Nations are connected to high-speed internet at download speeds of 50 Mbps or better.
- Grant funding from the Connecting British Columbia program helps improve high-speed connectivity in Indigenous communities.
- Connecting British Columbia-supported projects announced this year will benefit 69 Indigenous communities.
The Ministry of Citizens’ Services is working to expand high-speed internet connectivity in rural and Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia. To learn more about this work, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/internet-in-bc
The Connecting British Columbia program is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust. For more information, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/
To download a copy of the B.C. government’s Connectivity Handbook, which provides community-focused information on available technologies, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Connectivity-Handbook.pdf