People depend on high-speed internet access to learn, do business, access services and stay in touch with loved ones.
Most British Columbians have access to broadband, but for people in rural and Indigenous communities, internet connections can be slow, unreliable or non-existent.
The Province is working to connect rural and Indigenous communities by providing grant funding to help make affordable and reliable high-speed internet access available to all British Columbians.
This year, government announced the largest ever contribution — $50 million — to the Connecting British Columbia program, which will help fund projects to bring broadband to approximately 200 more rural or Indigenous communities in B.C. British Columbia is ready to support people and communities in this work, whether they are in the beginning stages of planning or have one final step to be connected.
Connecting British Columbia program:
- The Connecting British Columbia program helps enhance internet connectivity to underserved areas of the province.
- Since July 2017, projects to improve high-speed internet connectivity are underway or completed in 455 communities, including 75 Indigenous communities, or nearly 43,000 households.
- Recent projects supported:
- In January 2018, a $45.4-million federal and provincial investment in the Connected Coast project was announced to connect 154 communities, including 56 Indigenous communities, on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the coast with a sub-sea fibre-optic cable.
- In March 2018, British Columbia, the federal government and private sector partners announced $38 million for four major connectivity projects throughout the province, which will benefit 36 communities including 13 Indigenous communities.
- In November 2018, British Columbia and the private sector announced nearly $1 million for three local connectivity projects in the Cariboo region.
- In March 2019, British Columbia and the private sector announced nearly $10.2 million for two connectivity projects in the Kootenay region.
First Nations and 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.
- Broadband is foundational to the way modern society does business. Connecting Indigenous communities to high-speed internet helps provide more equitable access to education and health resources and new opportunities for economic growth.
- Connecting British Columbia-supported projects announced since July 2017 will benefit 75 Indigenous communities.
To learn more about government’s work to expand high-speed internet services, visit: www.NetworkBC.gov.bc.ca
To download a copy of the B.C. government’s connectivity handbook, which provides useful community-focused information on expanding broadband, visit: https://issuu.com/northerndevelop/docs/connectivity_handbook_aug2018_v2
The Connecting British Columbia program is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust. For more information, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/