High-speed Internet in the works for rural residents

Rural residents of the Cariboo now have access to another high-speed Internet option.

Rural residents of the Cariboo now have access to another high-speed Internet option.

Industry Canada gave the OK to Internet service provider Galaxy Broadband Communication to service a large area surrounding Williams Lake as far west as Bella Coola.

Satellites are being used by the Mississauga-based company to provide the local service.

Shawn Bolta, sales and marketing co-ordinator for Galaxy, says the rule of thumb for residents wondering whether they can access the service is to consider whether they are able to use satellite TV.

If so, he predicts residents could probably also get satellite Internet.

High-speed service under Galaxy is at 1.5 megabytes per second.

Wireless, says Bolta, is typically a similar speed.

“The speeds will be very comparable to wireless,” he says.

For dial-up Internet users, Bolta says this service will free up their phone lines and be approximately 35 times faster.

The service was officially available May 1.

Bolta says the satellite must be professionally installed because the device transmits and receives as opposed to a television satellite, for example, that is only a receiving device.

Other high-speed Internet options, including satellite, radio, and cellular Internet through other companies, are also available in some rural areas near Williams Lake.