June 27, 2024

WILLAIMS LAKE – The Cariboo Regional District is celebrating commitments made by the Province of BC and Government of Canada for internet upgrades in rural areas of the Cariboo. The June 13 announcement confirmed a significant commitment to connect over 2,000 rural households in the regional district through a $37 million investment. This funding will support the expansion of Telus’ wireless and fibre optic networks in the region.

“This announcement represents a tremendous amount of work and advocacy on the part of our Connectivity Committee to raise awareness about the internet coverage gaps in our region and pursue opportunities to close them. BC Connective Communities Initiative staff have been extremely helpful and supportive of our needs and understanding how critical equitable access to internet services is for our rural communities. Broadband services are desperately needed to connect our residents with the information they need for healthcare, economic opportunities, education, and public safety,” said Maureen LeBourdais, Director of Electoral Area F and Chair of the Connectivity Committee, “TELUS Community Liaison staff have also made themselves accessible to our questions and willing to engage with us on how these connectivity projects could look to make sure that the projects reflect the needs on the ground.”

A vast majority of the 2,000 households which will be connected to high-speed internet through fibre-optic and fixed-wireless internet by these projects are in the Cariboo Regional District, outside of municipal boundaries. The communities to be served include McLeese Lake, Wildwood (Electoral Area D), Alkali Lake (Esk’etemc) (Electoral Area E), 150 Mile House, Big Lake Ranch, Horsefly (Electoral Area F), 108 Mile Ranch, Lac la Hache (Electoral Area G), Mahood Falls (Electoral Area H), Nazko (Electoral Area I), and Bridge Lake (Electoral Area L).

“I want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to Director LeBourdais for her extensive advocacy work on connected to the rest of the world realized through this funding announcement,” said Margo Wagner, Chair of the Regional District. “She has worked with the Connectivity Committee to stay connected with TELUS and the Province to build awareness of the gaps in our rural areas and address them in high priority areas.”

The Cariboo Regional District’s Connectivity Committee was established in 2022 to support the implementation of the Regional Broadband Strategy, which was adopted in 2021. The Strategy guides the regional district’s advocacy with other partners, including TELUS and the Ministry of Citizens Services. The Connectivity Committee continues to engage to improve access to broadband internet and cellular networks across the regional district to improve access for all citizens.

Source: Cariboo Regional District


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