154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

More than 150 remote communities in B.C. will soon have high-speed internet following a $45.4-million investment from two levels of government.

Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott announced Wednesday Ottawa would commit $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable along B.C.’s coast. The remaining $11.4 million will come from the province.

B.C. Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims said faster internet is as important to the economy today as the railroad was in the 19th century.

The internet speeds will be “comparable to cities like Vancouver,” Sims said.

The money will help connect 44 First Nations.

“Working remotely will now become a reality. Coders, designers, accountants, linguists and small business people can now reach a global audience,” said Peter Lantin, Haida Nation elected president.

“Transitioning away from our dependency on resource-based economy becomes a reality.”

Faster internet connections will slow the brain-drain of young people leaving Haida Gwaii that Lantin said the islands have been experiencing.

The faster connection speeds will also help the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network, which monitor and protect the lands and waters on their territories, “operate in real-time.”

More than 100 watchmen patrol the coast along First Nation territories, watching for heavy vessels and monitoring emergency responses.

“They compile large amounts of data on tourism, enforcement, wildlife and cultural sites,” said Lantin.

Currently, it takes four hours to upload that information, he said, and fibre optic internet is expected to reduce that.

A list of communities receiving internet:

North Coast Regional District

  • City West Interconnect (Ridley Island)
  • Dodge Cove
  • Hartley Bay (Gitga’at First Nation)
  • Kitkatla (Gitxaala Nation)
  • Lax Kw’alaams
  • Metlakatla First Nation
  • Old Massett (Old Massett Village Council)
  • Oona River
  • Prince Rupert Airport
  • Prince Rupert South Interconnect

Kitimat-Stikine Regional District

  • Klemtu (Kitasoo)
  • Central Coast Regional District
  • Bella Bella (Heiltsuk)
  • Bella Coola
  • Duncandy Landing
  • Martin Valley
  • Ocean Falls
  • Oweekeno (Wuikinuxv Nation)
  • Shearwater

Mount Waddington Regional District

  • Alert Bay
  • Bull Harbour (Tlatlasikwala)
  • Cape Scott
  • Coal Harbour—ref.Quatsino IR 50633
  • Da’naxda’xw First Nation
  • Echo Bay
  • Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw
  • Gwawaenuk Tribe
  • Health Bay (Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis)
  • Holberg
  • Hyde Creek
  • Kains Island
  • Kingcome (Dzawada’enuxw First Nation)
  • Kwakiutl
  • Mahatta River
  • Mamalilikulla-Qwe’Qwa’Sot’Em
  • Mitchell Bay
  • Namgis First Nation
  • Port Hardy
  • Port McNeill
  • Quatsino
  • Quatsino
  • Rumble Beach
  • Shawl Bay
  • Sointula
  • Telegraph Cove
  • Winter Harbour

Regional District of Alberni-Clayoquot

  • Ahousaht (ref. Marktosis 8592)
  • Bamfield
  • Haggar Lake
  • Hesquiaht
  • Hesquiat
  • Huu-ay-aht
  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations
  • Marktosis (+50659 Ahousaht)
  • Opitsat (Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations)
  • Poett Nook
  • Salmon Beach
  • Tla-o-qui-aht
  • Tofino
  • Toquaht
  • Toquaht
  • Uchucklesaht
  • Ucluelet
  • Ucluelet
  • Ucluelet First Nation

Capital Regional District

  • Beecher Bay
  • Deep Cove
  • Fernwood
  • Fulford Harbour
  • Ganges
  • Musgrave Landing
  • Pacheedaht First Nation
  • Port Renfrew
  • Port Washington
  • River Jordan
  • Saseenos
  • Saturna
  • Shirley
  • Sidney
  • Sooke
  • Tseycum
  • T’Sou-ke
  • T’Sou-ke First Nation
  • Victoria

Cowichan Valley Regional District

  • Chemainus (Stz’uminus First Nation)
  • Ditidaht
  • Lyackson
  • Malahat First Nation
  • Penelakut (Penelakut Tribe)

Regional District of Nanaimo

  • Bowser
  • Nanaimo
  • Nanoose First Nation
  • Qualicum Beach

Comox Valley Regional District

  • Comox
  • Williams Beach

Metro Vancouver Regional District

  • Gambier Harbour
  • Snug Cove
  • Vancouver Interconnect

Sunshine Coast Regional District

  • Earls Cove
  • Egmont
  • Gibsons
  • Halfmoon Bay
  • Langdale
  • New Brighton
  • Pope Landing
  • Roberts Creek
  • Sechelt
  • Secret Cove
  • Welcome Beach
  • Williamsons Landing
  • Wilson Creek

Power River Regional District

  • Barney’s Bar
  • Black Point
  • Bliss Landing
  • Brew Bay
  • Gillies Bay
  • Lang Bay
  • Lasqueti
  • Lund
  • Myrtle Point
  • Pinetree
  • Powell River
  • Saltery Bay
  • Sliammon (Tla’amin Nation)
  • Stillwater
  • Van Anda
  • Westview

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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