More than 700 households in the Deka Lake and Ruth Lake communities can now access quality, reliable high-speed internet with the completion of a fibre-to-the-home network.
“Everyone has a right to quality high-speed internet. We’re focused on connecting every rural, remote and Indigenous community in B.C. by 2027,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “This fibre project means that people can access high-speed internet this holiday season to stay connected to loved ones, sit back and relax with a movie, and access necessary online services from the comfort of their home.”
The Province invested as much as $3.1 million and Telus Communications Inc. invested $1.6 million to build new PureFibre infrastructure that provides access to gigabit-enabled high-speed internet, enabling broadband internet speeds surpassing 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, and 10 Mbps for uploads. Except for eight homes in the region that will be reached in spring 2023 via an underwater cable crossing, the project is complete, meaning people can now subscribe to internet services for their homes.
“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live. As part of our ongoing commitment to better enable rural and Indigenous communities throughout the province, we are proud to work alongside the Government of British Columbia to bring critical connectivity to remote communities within the Cariboo Regional District, including Ruth Lake and Deka Lake,” said Newton Choy, general manager for Telus, Northern B.C. “This investment equips residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most.”
In 2021, Telus completed an upgrade of internet services for surrounding Cariboo communities of Forest Grove, Buffalo Creek, Gateway, Eagle Creek and Canim Lake, with $1.7 million in provincial funding. Access in Deka Lake and Ruth Lake fills the connectivity gap between communities in the region.
“This is exciting news for people in Forest Grove and other nearby communities, who will now be able to use our library’s resources without leaving home,” said Erica Hamel, community librarian at the Cariboo Regional District library in Forest Grove. “This will benefit everyone, especially children, who now have the opportunity to fully widen their lives to the wonders of reading and connect them to the world.”
In March 2022, the Province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to connect all remaining rural and First Nations households in the province.
“Residents of Forest Grove, Ruth Lake and Deka Lake have been requesting improved connectivity for many years, and now those residents will have access to high-speed fibre-optic internet through Telus,” said Margo Wagner, chair of the Cariboo Regional District, and chair of the Northern Development Initiative Trust. “This upgrade will support our residents’ use of the internet, whether working from home or seeking entertainment, and attract new residents looking to make the move to the Cariboo.”
The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet services by 2027 will level the playing field for British Columbians and 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: BC's Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan