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

A screenshot of the pathway’s construction. (City of Kelowna)
Okanagan Rail Trail to be extended to downtown Kelowna waterfront

Construction of the pathway is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 10

Jason Townsend wearing his Kelowna Hells Angels prospect patches. (Jason Townsend/Facebook)
Crown stays domestic assault charges against Kelowna Hells Angels prospect

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged in August 2020 with assault and assault by choking

RCMP did not commit offense in arrest which seriously injured Lake Country man, finds IIO. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Vernon police didn’t use excessive force in domestic takedown: Watchdog

‘One stepped on him and one had his knee in his neck,’ woman told IIO

Central Okanagan recorded 174 cases throughout the week of April 25 to May 1. (BCCDC/Contributed)
Weekly COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease in Central Okanagan

The Central Okanagan had 174 cases from April 25 to May 1

A fifth wheel fire came dangerously close to a Lake Country home Wednesday afternoon. (Lake Country Fire Department photo)
RCMP, neighbours save Lake Country house from fire

Fifth wheel up in flames next to home

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A new video from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (SOICS), released May 6 in collaboration with the Okanagan Chambers COVID Response Coalition (#OKWeGotThis), features members of communities across the Okanagan including Oliver, Penticton, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Kamloops. (South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services/Screenshot)
VIDEO: South Okanagan community group releases video addressing racism in the Okanagan

Video begins by using real audio from racist incidents in the Okanagan

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The monthly totals from Jan.1, 2020 to April 30, 2021 show COVID-19 cases for most Local Health Areas in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, other than Vernon’s with the largest population, staying well below 400. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)
16 months in, COVID cases in North Okanagan-Shuswap areas stay under 1,000

Vernon, with the largest population, hovers under 900 cases since January 2020

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Sullivan Mack gets a boost into West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick from Warriors forward Tyson Jugnauth during West Kelowna’s 5-4 B.C. Hockey League pod play win Wednesday, May 5, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors hold on to edge Silverbacks

Warriors up three with five minutes to go, give up two late goals but end up with 5-4 BCHL win over Salmon Arm

Most Read