NANOOSE BAY – Today the provincial and federal governments announced a $4.6 million funding investment for CityWest to bring high-speed Internet access to seven communities on Vancouver Island. CityWest will use the funds to build and operate a new, state-of-the-art fibre-optic network in each community. The $6.5 million projects will connect 1,200 rural and remote British Columbians with urban-class connectivity.
The communities of Telegraph Cove, Holberg, Kyuquot and Winter Harbour on northern Vancouver Island as well as the communities of Van Anda on Texada Island, Galiano Island and Saturna Island were awarded last-mile grant funding to bring improved Internet services. These projects are supported by an investment of up to $1.3 million through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, alongside an up to $3.3 million investment from the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund. The estimated $6.5 million total cost of the project also includes up to $1.2 million contributed by CityWest, and up to $618,000 in other funding.
“Providing the same level of access, quality and opportunities in communities across British Columbia is vital,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Reliable, high-speed internet access for rural, remote and Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will further bridge the digital divide and bring British Columbia closer to connecting every community in B.C. with high-speed internet access by 2027.”
“We’re thrilled by today’s announcement to bring improved connectivity to more underserved communities. These last-mile fibre-optic projects will provide residents with urban-class connectivity, creating equal opportunities for more rural and remote British Columbians,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. “We would like to express our thanks to the Province of B.C. and the Federal Government, for their vision on ensuring that these communities are able to unlock their connectivity aspirations.”
In March 2022, the Province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to underserved rural and First Nations communities.
The B.C. government’s commitment to support expansion of high-speed internet services to all communities by 2027 aims to level the playing field for British Columbians and ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training, and health care.
Once the last-mile fibre-optic infrastructure has been completed in each community, it will be tied into the Connected Coast project. This network will provide a secure, redundant fibre-optic connection, providing each community with world class connectivity.
To read the provincial government’s release, click here.