People and businesses in Keremeos will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of modern, high-speed internet, thanks in part to funding from the Connecting British Columbia program.
“Now more than ever, high-speed internet is making a difference in B.C. communities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “During this time of physical distancing, a broadband connection helps students keep up with their studies, supports businesses to provide online services and brings families and friends together virtually.”
The Keremeos fibre-to-the-home project from Telus is valued at approximately $3.2 million and includes a $750,000 contribution from the Connecting British Columbia program.
“High-speed internet means that people and businesses have better access to safety, learning and productivity,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness. “COVID-19 has shifted the way we communicate, and regional communities need access to technology that will help them adapt to the new normal.”
Construction is underway. Telus expects the work to be completed by the end of September 2020, making high-speed internet available to more than 900 homes and businesses in Keremeos and surrounding areas.
“Telus is proud to make this generational investment in Keremeos, providing the technology to bridge geographic and socio-economic divides and connect citizens to the people, resources and information that matter the most to them,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, Telus. “Importantly, Telus PureFibre offers the community a globally unmatched wireline network that ensures all citizens have access to the digital tools to drive improved health, social and economic outcomes. We look forward to connecting our fellow British Columbians in Keremeos and beyond to Telus PureFibre and supporting the community as it attracts new industries and innovators, supporting the jobs of today and those that have yet to be imagined.”
The completion of this project means local families, students and entrepreneurs will soon be able to enjoy internet access at speeds comparable to what people in Victoria and Vancouver enjoy. The new technology will provide equally fast upload and download speeds, which will support the use of video conferencing, online learning and remote working at a time when residents need that most.
“People and businesses in the Keremeos community are thrilled to have fibre-optic internet coming to the village,” said Manfred Bauer, mayor, Village of Keremeos. “The arrival of this technology will be an instant boost to services like emergency response, health care and education, and our residents are looking forward to having internet access at speeds that enable them to work from home, do business around the world and unwind after a long day. It will be an incredible advantage.”
The Connecting British Columbia program helps internet service providers with the costs of building the infrastructure required to connect communities to broadband internet. The program is now accepting applications for funding, with a focus on improving internet connectivity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in B.C.
“Everyone at the trust is pleased to see high-speed internet arriving in Keremeos,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The goal of the Connecting British Columbia program is to move the province towards a future where everyone can enjoy the benefits of broadband, and the completion of this project represents another step towards achieving this goal.”
Since 2017, projects funded through the Connecting British Columbia program benefit about 45,000 households in 479 communities, including 83 Indigenous communities, throughout the province.
- The Province announced a $50-million investment in the Connecting British Columbia program in Budget 2019.
- In addition to funding large projects from the ground up, like the one in Keremeos, internet service providers can apply for a short-term, targeted intake under the Connecting British Columbia program to help upgrade existing equipment in response to the unprecedented network demands happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Connecting British Columbia program: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/connecting-british-columbia/
Learn about connectivity in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc
For more information about Telus, visit: https://www.telus.com/en/about/company-overview