More than 350 homes and businesses in Dugan Lake and McLeese Lake will be better able to access faster Internet speeds, thanks to the B.C. government's $159,161 investment in a new connectivity project that will soon get underway by ABC Communications.
Local Internet service provider ABC Communications will match the Province’s funding for a total investment of $318,322. The provincial portion is being provided through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Over 350 rural Williams Lake households and businesses will have better opportunities to learn, do business, access services and stay connected through ABC’s technology upgrades and network coverage expansion. ABC's project builds on its previous high-speed wireless deployments launched in 2014 and complements other Internet improvements being made by other Internet service providers operating in the wider region.
Connecting British Columbia is a multi-year grant program funded by the Province and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust, to support new and upgraded backbone and last-mile infrastructure projects in rural and remote communities in B.C. to drive innovation, regional growth and the creation of new jobs. The program can be used for new Internet connections and to upgrade existing Internet connections, for local Internet infrastructure builds and for new pathways.
As part of its Rural Economic Development Strategy, the Province recently announced a further investment of $40 million to the Connecting British Columbia program for a total of $50 million, to help regional Internet service providers, Aboriginal organizations, local governments, and other organizations to expand or enhance Internet connectivity in currently unconnected and underserved areas of B.C.
This additional funding aligns with the Province’s #BCTECH Strategy to bring the province closer to 100% high-speed connectivity and help eligible B.C.-based Internet service providers leverage the new federal $500-million Connect to Innovate program to maximize funding available for rural connectivity projects.
Coralee Oakes, MLA for Cariboo North –
“Our $159,161 investment through the Connecting British Columbia program will help ABC improve wireless high-speed Internet access in rural Williams Lake, specifically Dugan Lake and McLeese Lake. This upgrade will help local businesses compete, make it easier for residents to communicate and access online services and educational opportunities.”
Joel McKay, Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO –
“Residents and businesses in the North shouldn’t have to choose between a rural lifestyle and Internet access. Thanks to our partnership in the delivery of the Connecting British Columbia program, we’re able to continually work toward bridging the urban-rural divide, expanding services and opportunities for the entire region. We’re pleased that this project will connect more than 350 new customers to the rest of the world.”
Bob Allen, ABC Communications CEO –
“We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the communities within our service areas, like Williams Lake. We’re working together with local businesses, municipalities, regional districts, First Nations and the government to expand broadband services throughout B.C.”
- Under the Connecting British Columbia program, nearly $10 million has been allocated to 30 projects that will improve or expand Internet services in over 200 communities around the province.
- To date, more than 40,000 households have benefited from the Connecting British Columbia program.
Connecting British Columbia program: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/business-development/connecting-british-columbia
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca
Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/21/2017/03/BCRED_Strategy_FINAL.pdf
ABC Communications: https://www.abccommunications.com
Northern Development Initiative Trust: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca
Interactive and searchable map showing broadband availability in B.C.: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/communications-technology/internet-in-bc/network-bc-connectivity-map
Joanne WhittierCommunications Manager
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Kim HayhurstDirector, Marketing and Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust