People in the Williams Lake Indian Band 1 community, who currently share a single fibre connection to the band office, will soon enjoy a substantial upgrade to internet speeds.
Improving internet connectivity will enhance local services, including health care and education, and bring new economic development opportunities to the community.
“Affordable and reliable high-speed internet can open new doors for rural and Indigenous communities,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “The new fibre network will produce immediate benefits, such as enabling community health workers and educators to access new services or creating opportunities for people to start home-based businesses.”
The Province is investing $177,000 through its Connecting British Columbia program to help support a Telus project to bring cutting-edge fibre optic internet to Williams Lake Band 1 homes and workplaces. The total value of the project is more than $354,000.
“We’re extremely excited about the pending upgrades to Williams Lake Indian Band’s broadband internet service,” said Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars. “As community leaders, we are committed to improving the quality of life for our people. Services, such as reliable internet, are a necessary part of existence in the modern world. We’re grateful for the support offered by the Connecting British Columbia program and look forward to enjoying the many benefits that will flow from this project.”
Connecting British Columbia is a program funded by the Province, and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), to expand and upgrade broadband connections in rural and Indigenous communities throughout B.C.
“Bringing reliable high-speed internet to members of Williams Lake 1 is another step in closing the gap between rural and urban communities and opening doors to new opportunities,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “These infrastructure updates will support people as they realize their entrepreneurial goals, access broader education and share their rich culture with more people.”
The completion of this project will enable residents and businesses of Williams Lake Indian Band 1 to access the internet at speeds of up to 750 Mbps, fast enough for multiple family members to stream high-definition video online.
“Our government is working to help rural and Indigenous communities achieve their connectivity goals,” said Sims. “Combined with our support for the Government of Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, we are seeing an incredible opportunity for B.C. communities to move forward on projects and be full participants in growing good-paying jobs.”
This year government made the largest investment in the Connecting British Columbia program’s history, committing another $50 million to expand high-speed internet access for people living in rural and Indigenous communities.
“Telus and the Government of B.C. share a vision to ensure that all British Columbians can thrive in our digital world, regardless of where they live. We are excited to partner with Williams Lake Indian Band and the Government of B.C. through its Connecting B.C. program to bring Telus PureFibre to Williams Lake Indian Band 1,” said Tony Geheran, chief customer officer, Telus. “This critical network will provide the backbone for continued innovation, entrepreneurship, education and access to health care for generations to come, and would not have been possible without the spirited collaboration between public and private organizations. By the end of next year, Telus will have connected 54 Indigenous communities across B.C. to this network.”
- Since July 2017, projects to improve high-speed internet connectivity are underway or complete benefiting 479 communities including 83 Indigenous communities and approximately 45,000 households.
- NDIT is currently accepting applications for Connecting British Columbia program funding. This funding is available to help rural and Indigenous communities with infrastructure and planning projects.
For more information on internet in British Columbia and the Province’s work to expand connectivity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, visit:
Northern Development Initiative Trust administers the Connecting British Columbia program:
To see how connectivity changed the community of Haida Gwaii, visit:
For more information on the Government of Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, visit: