Thanks to expanded cell phone coverage and high-speed Internet more B.C. families will be connected this year. New programs, expanded fibre optic networks and ongoing community and school connection upgrades means families making memories or tracking Santa via the Internet and mobile devices this holiday season will be easier than ever in 2014.
B.C. government’s partnership with TELUS helped to increase cellular coverage along 1,054 new kilometres of highway this year as part of the Connecting B.C. Agreement with TELUS. Some of the northern highways seeing new service in 2014 include:
- $2.5 million to build four new wireless sites bringing service to more than 40 kilometers of Highway 97 just north of Prince George for the first time
- $675,000 to bring new wireless coverage to more than 14 kilometers of Highway 97 between McLeese Lake and Marguerite
- $620,000 to build a new wireless site bringing service to approximately six kilometers of Highway 97 near the community of Monte Creek
- $550,000 to bring new wireless coverage to more than 10 kilometers of Highway 16 between McBride and Tête Jaune Cache
- $2.3 million to build three new wireless sites bringing service to about 40 kilometers of Highway 16 between Terrace and Burns Lake
Expanded service means safer travel for drivers, faster reporting of road accidents and better response times by emergency workers.
As of November 2014, 264 of 437 public schools have been upgraded from legacy copper to faster fibre optic internet connections.
The Government of B.C. continues to partner with the federal government to support the Pathways to Technology project managed by the All Nations Trust Company to connect First Nations communities to the Internet.
New fibre optic connections are being built around Vancouver Island, with the north island fibre line from Sayward to Port McNeill almost complete, and installation of a new line along Highway 4 announced to begin in spring 2015 which will improve service to communities in the Ucluelet and Tofino area. A new fibre line is also in progress along Highway 118 to Granisle.
This year the B.C. government launched the $2 million BC Broadband Satellite Initiative in partnership with Xplornet Communications Inc. As of the end of December 2014, more than 1,000 satellite subscribers throughout the province now have service in areas where traditional broadband service is not possible. Over the next three years, the program will continue to provide assistance with a portion of the installation cost of a satellite Internet connection for customers with no other options for broadband.
At this year’s UBCM, Premier Christy Clark renewed government’s commitment to expand high-speed Internet service to communities in rural B.C. The Province is committed to achieving the goal of 100% Internet connectivity by 2021 to make B.C. one of the most connected jurisdictions in the world.
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services -
“This year, we’ve seen a significant expansion of high-speed Internet and cellular services to rural communities and highways. More communities, businesses and families now have access to a wealth of opportunities, information, services and even emergency help, that didn’t exist one year ago.”
To learn more about Network BC visit: www.network.gov.bc.ca
For information on BC Broadband Satellite Initiative installations or program eligibility call Xplornet Communications at 1 855 494-1079 or visit: www.xplornet.com/bcbroadband
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services