Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare held a press conference Friday (March 26) with various stakeholders, including North Island and North Coast MLAs and executive director of Coastal First Nations, Christine Smith-Martin.

Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare held a press conference Friday (March 26) with various stakeholders, including North Island and North Coast MLAs and executive director of Coastal First Nations, Christine Smith-Martin.

Province spending $55M to bring high-speed internet to more of B.C.’s coast

Announced Friday, Connected Coast project is expected to connect 139 communities – 48 being rural and Indigenous

The provincial government unveiled its plans Friday (March 26) to bring high-speed internet to more homes in B.C.’s coastal communities with a series of infrastructure investments.

The $45.4-million Connected Coast project is part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, which saw $90 million allotted in September. It will connect 139 communities – 48 being rural and Indigenous – to fast and reliable internet.

Construction is slated to start this summer on the infrastructure, said Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare during the Zoom press conference.

The project will see internet service provider CityWest will connect communities to a subsea fiber-optic network running from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, to the Sunshine Coast and around Vancouver Island.

Residents on Cortes Island, in Bella Coola, Skidegate, Zeballos and Quadra Island will be included.

CityWest CEO Stefan Woloszyn said, “connectivity is critical to foster growth in the digital economy and navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company is receiving an additional $10 million to enhance connectivity for more than 2,800 households in Whaletown, Granite Bay and 4 mile as well as communities in Haida Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Ehattesaht First Nation and Klahoose First Nation.

Director Christine Smith-Martin of Coastal First Nations said the project will “bridge the digital divide” and is “an important step in B.C.’s commitment to true and lasting reconciliation” with First Nations people.

“Once the fiber is laid it will help people with business opportunities and download speeds they need to build into the future,” added North Island MLA Michelle Babchuk.

In September, CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District entered into a joint venture agreement to manage the Connected Coast project.

It is anticipated the project will be completed by the end of 2023.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction has begun on Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, with lengthy closures planned for the next four weeks. (Claire Palmer photo)
24-hour Trans-Canada closures begin east of Golden

It’s the final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon project, which is realigning & widening the highway

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Cases continue to climb in B.C amid a third wave of COVID-19. (Omar Marques/AP photo)
Physicians of Golden warn of third wave

Cases continue to climb provincially

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 centimetres of snow on the Coquihalla Highway Friday, April 9, 2021. (File photo)
Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Environment Canada is forecasting up to 20 cm of snow to fall on the Coquihalla Friday

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read