OTTAWA, ON, May 20, 2022 – Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced up to $108 million in combined federal and provincial funding to bring high-speed Internet access to up to 14,000 households and mobile connectivity to seven communities in rural British Columbia, including First Nations communities.
These projects are part of an existing agreement between British Columbia and Canada. On March 8, 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership to invest up to $830 million to provide all British Columbians in rural, remote and Indigenous communities with access to high-speed Internet. The governments of Canada and British Columbia will continue to announce projects selected under this agreement over the coming months.
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. British Columbia’s plan accelerates this work, with a provincial target of 100% of B.C. communities connected by 2027. The governments of Canada and British Columbia recognize the important role that high-speed Internet and mobile connectivity will have in economic recovery from the pandemic. Collaborating to provide better Internet and mobile services to British Columbians living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities will contribute to the economic growth of the entire province.
“We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of British Colombia has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Today’s announcement of up to $108 million in funding to connect up to 14,000 rural households as well as improve mobile connectivity in seven communities in the province is great news for British Columbians. Investments like these help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, enhance safety and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Connectivity has become an essential tool for accessing services, pursuing higher education and doing business in today’s world. Making sure every community has access to high-speed Internet is an investment in our province’s success. B.C.’s Economic Plan sets out to build our economy with an eye toward inclusive growth, and this announcement is a step forward in our commitment to connect all remaining B.C. communities by 2027 so that every person in every part of this province has an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to our future.”
– The Honourable Lisa Beare, British Columbia Minister of Citizens’ ServicesQuick facts
- 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 (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest-to-reach households may take until 2030 to get connected.
- On March 8, 2022, a Canada-British Columbia broadband partnership was announced. Through this agreement and a combined investment of up to $830 million, approximately 115,000 households in British Columbia will be connected to high-speed Internet.
- Connecting Communities BC is part of the Stronger BC Economic Plan to move British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. British Columbia’s Budget 2022 significantly accelerates B.C.’s commitment to close the digital divide, helping communities access new diversified economic opportunities.