People in more than 130 households on Westham Island now have access to reliable high-speed internet service.
“Quality high-speed internet access can be a game-changer for farms on Westham Island by making it easier to do business online. I am excited for people in this scenic community to enjoy the many opportunities unlocked through better connectivity,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “The completion of this project takes us forward another step in our commitment to connect every community in B.C. by 2027.”
With the installation of new last-mile infrastructure on Westham Island, service provider Telus is providing faster broadband speeds in the community, delivering improved access to digital services, educational resources, and local and global economic opportunities.
“Access to reliable high-speed internet services on Westham Island marks a significant milestone for our community,” said George V. Harvie, mayor of Delta. “This enhanced connectivity not only supports our local businesses and farms, but also enriches the lives of residents by opening doors to new resources. We're grateful for the investments made by the Government of British Columbia and Telus, which reflect our shared commitment to bridging the digital divide and building stronger, more connected communities.”
The Province has invested as much as $320,000 through the Connecting British Columbia program administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust. Telus contributed as much as $209,000 toward the $529,000 approximate total cost of the project.
“This announcement reflects the Province of B.C.’s commitment to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that communities, regardless of their geographical location, can enjoy the benefits of modern connectivity,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “High-speed internet is not just a convenience, it's a necessity for education, business, health care and staying connected with the world. Today, we celebrate this achievement with the residents of Westham Island as they join the global digital community.”
Shazia Zeb Sobani, vice-president of customer network planning for Telus, said: “We are proud of our partnership with the Government of B.C. and City of Delta, which has enabled us to bring world-leading Telus PureFibre network to Westham Island. Through this project, residents now have access to reliable high-speed internet that will allow them to grow their businesses, connect with others and access the resources they need to thrive in a digital world.”
The Province’s investment is part of StrongerBC: Good Lives in Strong Communities, the Province's new vision outlining investments to help build a brighter future for rural communities and the people who call them home.
To build on this work, in March 2022, the governments of British Columbia and Canada announced a partnership to invest as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to all remaining underserved households in B.C. by 2027. The Connecting British Columbia and Connecting Communities BC funding programs support projects expanding high-speed internet access to rural and remote areas of the province. The plan to connect all households will level the playing field for people in British Columbia, ensuring better access to services and economic opportunities for every community.
To know about connectivity in B.C., visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc
To learn more about Connecting Communities BC, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc/20601
To read StrongerBC: Good lives in Strong Communities, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Good-Lives-Strong-Communities-2023.pdf
To learn more about StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/economic-plan/