British Columbians to benefit from a historic plan with up to $830 million toward connecting all remaining rural households in the province to high-speed Internet
March 8, 2022 – Mission, British Columbia
Governments of Canada and British Columbia working together to connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and 100% by 2030
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, and the Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced a historic partnership to invest up to $830 million to support projects that will improve access to high-speed Internet in rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia.
Under this plan, both levels of governments will contribute up to $415 million, for a total combined funding of $830 million to connect the entire province of British Columbia. British Columbia’s funding will build on investments made to date and will include the $289 million announced in B.C.’s Budget 2022. Both governments of Canada and British Columbia will work with local communities, including Indigenous communities, to achieve the national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030. British Columbia’s plan accelerates this work, with a provincial target of 100% of B.C. communities connected by 2027.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia recognize the important role access to high-speed Internet will have in economic recovery following the pandemic. Collaborating to provide better Internet services to British Columbians living in rural, remote and northern communities will contribute to the economic growth of the entire province.
“We need to close the connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of British Columbia has access to reliable high-speed Internet—from Masset to Keats Island, from Dease Lake to Lillooet, or from Hendrix Lake all the way to Port Alice. That’s why today’s Canada-B.C. broadband partnership of up to $830 million toward connecting all remaining rural households in the province is a historic milestone for British Columbians. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian and achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“We know how important connectivity is to every British Columbian to support our growing economy and ensure we are putting people first. That’s why, with the launch of our new program, Connecting Communities BC, we’re committing to accelerate the target in our province to close the digital divide and connect all of B.C. by 2027.”
– Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens Services
This agreement will provide coverage to approximately 115,000 households in British Columbia that are still underserved.
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 (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest to reach households may take until 2030.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has announced more than $135 million in funding for 38 projects to bring improved speeds to more than 35,000 households in British Columbia.
The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. Find out more on the High-speed Internet for all of Canada page.
Connecting Communities BC is part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan to move British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. Budget 2022 significantly accelerates B.C.’s commitment to close the digital divide, helping communities access new diversified economic opportunities.
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Government of British Columbia
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