Federal and provincial funding is on the way to help connect more than 7,500 households in 52 communities get access to high-speed internet.    

The announcement was made in Chemainus when representatives from service providers and all levels of government marked an $830 million investment. 

The federal government says in a media release that investing in high-speed internet now ensures 98 per cent of Canadians will have access to the web in 2026. They add 100 per cent should be connected by 2030 and mobile connectivity should also improve across the country.

Minister of rural and economic development Gudie Hutchings says the world is constantly changing and it is up to all levels of government to ensure everyone has access to this essential service.

“Connectivity is an essential tool to access education, healthcare and to grow a business,” she says. “It also improves safety and provides peace of mind.”

B.C.’s minister of citizens’ services George Chow says the investment brings a lot more than access for education and healthcare, it also provides the ability to grow a strong economic sector.

“The funding announced today means people in rural and remote areas of the province are able to fully participate in the digital economy and access online resources,” he says. “We are committed to providing every underserved community with high-speed internet access by 2027.”

Of the 7,500 households getting access to high-speed internet approximately 1,320 of those are Indigenous. 

Recipients of the funding are the Nisga’a Lisims government, TELUS, Ktunaxa Nation (FlexiNET), CityWest Cable and Television corporation, and Kaslo infoNET Society.

– Files from Justin Baumgardner, My Cowichan Valley Now

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