The Canadian federal government and British Columbia’s provincial government have announced a partnership to jointly invest up to C$830 million to bring high-speed internet to the remaining rural households in the province.
This new investment, established through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), will provide internet access to 115,000 underserved households in B.C.
Each level of the government will contribute $415 million. B.C.’s portion includes the $289 million network fund announced in the province’s Budget 2022. The share from the federal government will be paid from the C$2.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund.
This investment announcement is another step towards realizing the promises made in Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, in which Canada’s federal government aims to help provide high-speed internet to 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030.
“We need to close the connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of British Columbia has access to reliable high-speed Internet—from Masset to Keats Island, from Dease Lake to Lillooet, or from Hendrix Lake all the way to Port Alice,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development in a press release. “That’s why today’s Canada-B.C. broadband partnership of up to $830 million toward connecting all remaining rural households in the province is a historic milestone for British Columbians.”
The applications for funding will be reviewed by Innovation, Science, Economic and Development Canada (ISED), considering a number of factors including affordability.