Feds, B.C. Drop $58 Million to Expand Rural High-Speed Internet

Rural communities in the Columbia Basin area of British Columbia are set to benefit from enhanced connectivity, as the federal government and the province have pledged over $58 million to expand high-speed Internet to these areas.

Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and person in charge of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced the allocation of these funds to the Columbia Basin Trust on Thursday afternoon.

This project aims to provide high-speed Internet access to more than 5,400 households across 59 rural and remote communities in the Columbia Basin region, including two Indigenous communities.

This move stems from an agreement established between the Canadian and British Columbian governments. In March 2022, both parties declared a partnership to invest as much as $830 million to ensure connectivity for every rural, remote, and Indigenous community in the province.

“Internet is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. That’s why our government made a historic commitment to connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026. Today’s announcement highlights our commitment to Internet connectivity in rural British Columbia. This investment will provide reliable high-speed Internet access, through the Columbia Basin Trust, to over 5,400 underserved homes in 59 British Columbia communities,” said Hutchings in a boilerplate statement.

The latest announcement aligns with the federal government’s broader strategy of ensuring 98% of the population can access high-speed Internet by 2026, aiming for full coverage by 2030.

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