Published On: Monday, 20 June 2016

Rural BC Residents Receive $3M Internet Injection

Rural BC Residents Receive $3M Internet Injection
As of June, 15 B.C. communities now have improved broadband availability, with over 85 more scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

NORTHERN BC - Eligible applicants, including Internet service providers, are encouraged to apply for nearly $3 million available through the Connecting British Columbia program to improve high-speed Internet access in rural and remote communities.

Affordable high-speed Internet connectivity is a catalyst for economic diversification, opening the door for B.C. communities to a global market by linking citizens to the digital economy and improving their ability to connect with friends, access health care and education, and trade goods and services.

Preference will be given to projects that incorporate other funding sources toward the total project cost. For example, funds could be leveraged from the private sector, trusts, non-government organizations and through other levels of government. Applications must be submitted to Northern Development Initiative Trust and will remain open until the program budget is exhausted.

To apply for funding, applicants must be legally registered entities. Examples include:

  • Local or regional Internet service providers
  • Community high-speed Internet connectivity organizations
  • Aboriginal organizations
  • Local governments such as regional districts or municipalities
  • Economic development organizations
  • Registered societies and associations

Connecting British Columbia is a $10 million grant program provided by the Province and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust to expand and upgrade broadband connection, particularly last-mile infrastructure access, in rural communities. More than $7 million has been awarded to date, supporting nearly $22 million worth of broadband improvements. So far, more than 33,000 households in over 150 communities ranging from Topley Landing to Ryder Lake will receive expanded high-speed Internet access through Connecting B.C.