Rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity to high-speed Internet
Ottawa, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
All Canadians need reliable and affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. The governments of Canada and British Columbia are taking action to bring high-speed Internet access to underserved communities.
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced over $3 million in federal and provincial funding for five CityWest projects to bring high-speed Internet access to over 800 households in the rural communities of Dease Lake, Iskut, Lach Klan (Gitxaała Nation), Lax Kw’alaams, and Smithers, British Columbia. This includes nearly 500 households in Indigenous communities.
This funding is part of an existing agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia. In March 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership to invest up to $830 million to connect all remaining rural, remote and Indigenous households throughout the province to high-speed Internet.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.
“We all know that Internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. That’s why our government made a historic commitment to connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026. Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for Internet connectivity in rural British Columbia. This investment will provide reliable high-speed Internet access through CityWest Cable and Telephone Corporation to more than 800 underserved homes in five communities across British Columbia.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Access to reliable, high-speed Internet services is vital for the success and growth of Indigenous, rural and remote communities. We are committed to connecting underserved communities by 2027 so British Columbians can enjoy the opportunities and services unlocked through access to high-speed connectivity, no matter where they live.”
– The Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services
“We’re thrilled by today’s announcement to bring improved connectivity to more underserved communities in northern British Columbia. These last-mile fibre-to-the-home projects will provide residents with urban-class connectivity, creating equal opportunities for more rural, remote and Indigenous British Columbians. We would like to express our thanks to the Province of B.C. and the federal government for their connectivity vision, and to our partners at the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation, the Gitxaała Nation and the Lax Kw’alaams Band for their support in these exciting projects.”
– Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest
- Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
- The Universal Broadband Fund is a $3.225 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help provide high-speed Internet access to 98% of Canadians by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% access by 2030.
- Today, 93.5% of Canadian households have access to high-speed Internet or are targeted to receive access through existing program commitments, compared to just 79% in 2014.
- In March 2022, Canada and British Columbia announced a broadband partnership. This agreement represents a plan to connect all remaining rural households in British Columbia to high-speed Internet through a total combined investment of up to $830 million.
- Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $524 million in connectivity projects in British Columbia. Since 2017, the Government of British Columbia has invested $584 million in connectivity projects in the province.
To read the original press release from the Government of Canada, click here.