Federal funds bring high-speed to Parson

Parson residents can expect to join the modern technological world by no later than 2017 with high speed internet.

Parson residents can expect to join the modern technological world by no later than 2017 when high speed internet is brought into their region.

Parson, along with nearly 40 other communities containing approximately 11,000 households, will benefit from the federal government’s commitment of $3.34 million to increase access to internet.

To help Canadians have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, and David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay–Columbia, announced the project last week. The money will be provided to the Columbia Basin Trust, who, through their subsidiary Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, will work with 12 different internet service providers, to co-ordinate the project.

“Columbia Basin Trust is committed to bringing better broadband to the Columbia Basin–Boundary region, and this funding is an important step forward in giving over 11,000 households the ability to participate fully in the digital world,” said Neil Muth, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust.

Brisco and Harrogate, along with Spillimacheen, Canal Flats, Edgewater, Fairmont Hot Springs, and Windermere will also benefit from the project.

The broadband infrastructure project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, delivering Internet speeds of up to ten megabits per second (Mbps), twice as fast as the target speed for the federal Connecting Canadians program, from which these funds came from.

Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada created the Connecting Canadians program, backed by a $305-million commitment to connect an additional 280,000 households in rural and remote regions of the country to high-speed Internet services at minimum speeds of 5 Mbps.

When the government announced the Connecting Canadians program last year, the CBT in co-operation with the Regional Broadband Committee reached out to identify small-to-medium sized local and regional internet service providers that were interested in expanding or upgrading their connectivity or infrastructure. This announcement includes all those who agreed to participate in the federal program.

More populated areas who have service that already exceeds the new federal standards would not have been eligible.