Governments of Canada and British Columbia invest over $58 million to bring high-speed Internet to over 5,400 households
Rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity to high-speed Internet
September 7, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario
All Canadians need reliable and affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. The governments of Canada and British Columbia are bringing high-speed Internet access to underserved communities.
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, together with the Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia's Minister of Citizens' Services, announced over $58 million in federal and provincial funding for Columbia Basin Trust to bring high-speed Internet access to over 5,400 households in 59 rural and remote communities in the Columbia Basin area of British Columbia. Two of these communities are Indigenous.
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 households in all remaining rural, remote and Indigenous communities 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.
"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 highlights our commitment to Internet connectivity in rural British Columbia. This investment will provide reliable high-speed Internet access, through the Columbia Basin Trust, to over 5,400 underserved homes in 59 British Columbia communities."
— The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
"Our commitment to connect every Indigenous, rural and remote B.C. community by 2027 ensures that the benefits of high-speed Internet are shared by everyone in the province. This investment makes it possible for people to stay in their own homes and have access to the services, resources, employment and education opportunities they depend on."
— The Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia's Minister of Citizens' Services
"The Internet is an essential service for all of society, but unfortunately we still have areas of the Columbia Basin that do not have access to the same level of high-speed connectivity and reliability as more populated communities. The Trust is pleased to partner in addressing this gap and in helping bring fibre optic infrastructure to over 5,400 rural households across the Basin."
— Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust
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, 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 nearly $525 million in connectivity projects in British Columbia.
Since 2017, the Government of British Columbia has invested $584 million in connectivity projects in the province.
- Universal Broadband Fund
- Backgrounder: Universal Broadband Fund and Telesat low Earth orbit capacity agreement
- Canada Infrastructure Bank: Broadband
- High-Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy
- High-Speed Internet Access Dashboard
- National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map
- High-speed Internet for all Canadians
- Rural economic development
Government of Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Government of British Columbia
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Government of British Columbia
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