To the editor;
As many already know, Sun Peaks and Whitecroft have high-speed Internet access.
What most do not know is this access is due to a provincial government program called the Connecting Citizens Grant Program.
Through an additional grant, Heffley Lake and Little Heffley Lake will also be getting high-speed Internet access.
However, all residents between Whitecroft and Heffley Lake will not receive this Internet access.
This is despite the fact the lines will run right past their properties.
Properties being bypassed are homes to year-round residents, unlike Heffley Lake, where only 30 per cent of the properties are year-round residences.
In June, Premier Christy Clark said, “Bringing Internet access to our most rural areas is crucial for the future of our young people and their education, for the health of families and for the competitiveness of our businesses.
“Not only does it help give British Columbians better access to information and opportunity, but it also brings that information closer and faster to our youngest learners.”
If Clark meant what she said, why are some properties being bypassed in favour of others?
Population density is the answer.
Mascon Cable, which is receiving the grant to supply Internet service wants to maximize their profit from tax dollars.
When we spoke with their representative about service for the properties between Whitecroft and Heffley, their answer was a flat ‘no.’
The purpose of this program as described in government releases:
“The Connecting Citizens Grant Program was created to eliminate last-mile barriers, enabling connectivity to more citizens in more parts of British Columbia.
“This program is the latest in a series of initiatives to bridge the digital divide in British Columbia.”
When we contacted Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Terry Lake’s office, the reply was the government has no say where Internet service will be provided.
If the government has no say, who is deciding where our tax dollars are going?
There are many small businesses being bypassed in favour of summer homes.
This seems to be at odds with the purpose of the grant program.
It is not too late to make your voice heard as construction is not due to begin until November.
Bill and Uli Johnson