The Southeastern BC Regional Connectivity Committee is asking the residents of the Golden area to test their Internet speed before Jan. 31 to provide specific data about the state of local connectivity.
The information will help determine eligibility for federal connectivity enhancement grant programs.
Currently, Golden is shown as meeting service expectations making the community ineligible for those grants.
Communities with speeds of less than 50/10 are deemed eligible for the funding.
”What we’ve heard is that areas around Golden that are deemed ineligible do not have access to those speeds and we need to follow the process laid out by the federal government to share updated information,” read a statement from the committee.
“COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of connectivity, especially in rural areas. With the need for folks to work from home, attend classes remotely, visit a health worker remotely or communicate via video and utilize applications such as Zoom, a reliable, fast Internet connection is critical.”
According to the committee, it has identified 16 of the ineligible communities where a last mile fibre project could potentially connect rural residents if funding was sought through UBF.
Those communities are ineligible because the federal government believes that residents have access to speeds of 50/10, which the committee does not believe is accurate. The information is provided to the federal government by service providers.
In order to address this issue and submit a funding application to UBF by the upcoming deadline of Feb. 15, the committee is looking to gather speed test data from residents by the end of January.
Residents need to complete a simple speed test and upload the results, a process set out by the federal government for disputing the mapping/ineligibility.
To complete the test and ensure that your test counts, go to https://ourtrust.org/speedtest/ to start the test.
Residents must confirm their location on a map and complete a form about the current Internet package, which can be found on a bill from your service provider.
Further instructions are available on the website.
The committee has been advocating for high-speed Internet for residents and businesses within the Columbia Basin since 2014.