More than 70 communities, including Little Fort, will benefit from the first eight projects to be approved under the up to $10 million Connecting BC Program, the B.C. government’s latest investment to expand high speed Internet service to British Columbians in rural and remote areas of the province for learning, training, doing business, finding services and staying connected.
This fulfils the commitment made in Budget 2015-16 and is part of the provincial government’s strategy to reach the goal of 100 per cent high-speed connectivity before 2021. The first share of grant funding has been awarded to seven Internet service providers stretching from the Kootenays to Gold Bridge to Port Alice.
The criteria for funding focuses on projects that will expand and upgrade service, especially the cost of ‘last-mile infrastructure access’ which is the connection from the main network line to the individual subscriber, often a barrier to expanding Internet service in rural communities.
This first wave of program grants will fund improvements to network engineering and design and improve equipment and infrastructure such as fibre optic cables, repeaters, radio equipment, towers and network devices.
Connecting British Columbia is a multi-year program administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust and covers the entire province.
To apply for funding, applicants must be legally registered entities such as local or regional Internet service providers; community high-speed Internet organizations; Aboriginal organizations; local governments such as regional districts or municipalities; economic development organizations and registered societies and associations.
Applicant: A.B.C. Allen Business Communications Ltd.
Communities / Region: 92 Mile, Bear Lake, Beaverdell, Bridge Lake, Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Green Lake, Hixon, Horsefly, Lac La Hache, Little Fort, Lumby, Prince George, Quesnel, Rock Creek, Sinkut Description: Expand network, new radio transmission technology, provide service to nearly 13,000 households in central and northern B.C.