A project to expand wireless internet and cellular services in Perow along Highway 16 is complete, providing enhanced coverage for residents and travellers.
“Cellular connectivity for communities in rural and remote areas ensures access to the services that people count on,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Our government is pleased to be able to help fund this project that will make it easier for all people living, working and travelling in this area to stay connected, access vital services and benefit from opportunities unlocked through reliable connectivity.”
Installation of cellular infrastructure will provide fixed wireless internet and cellular service to more than 200 households in Perow, located between Prince Rupert and Prince George. The community and people travelling along this stretch of Highway 16 will benefit from expanded cellular phone coverage enabling voice, data and emergency 911 service.
The Province has invested as much as $911,000 through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, for a total project cost of approximately $1 million. Telus Communications Inc. contributed as much as $101,241.
“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live,” said Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, Telus. “We are proud to work alongside the Government of British Columbia to bring wireless connectivity to rural and Indigenous communities across the province, equipping residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most. More critically, over the past decade, Telus has connected more than 500 kilometres of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, bringing coverage to more than 78% of the highway and making travel safer for residents and visitors across northern B.C.”
Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust, said: “The addition of eight kilometres of cellular coverage along Highway 16 will provide benefits to approximately 600 individuals who live and work in Perow and those travelling by road in northwestern B.C. This project will improve access to emergency services, an array of virtual opportunities and invaluable social connections. As administrator of the Connecting British Columbia program, this project aligns with Northern Development’s mission to act as a catalyst for transformative rural development that stimulates entrepreneurial creativity and community resiliency.”
The Province’s investment is part of the StrongerBC initiative under B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to build back a strong economy with a focus on inclusive growth for all communities.
In March 2022, the Province announced a partnership with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to the remaining rural and First Nations communities that are underserved. The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet by 2027 aims to ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training and health care.
Connectivity in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc
Northern Development Initiative Trust: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/connecting-british-columbia/
StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan