High speed Internet coming to rural Kootenays

Federal government kicks in $3.34 million for broadband infrastructure.

Pictured above: Rob Gay

Pictured above: Rob Gay

High speed internet is coming to some more rural parts of the Kootenays as the federal government announced $3.34 million in funding for the Columbia Basin Trust to provide broadband service for 11,000 households.

With James Moore, the federal Minister of Industry, in attendance, Kootenay Columbia MP David Wilks made the announcement alongside local government representatives and Internet Service Providers (ISP) partners.

With a projected completion date of 2017, the goal is to provide download speeds of up to 10 megabits per second (Mbps) to households in rural areas across the region such as Baynes Lake, Elko, Riondel, Fruitvale, Canal Flats and many others.

“Today we live in an increasingly borderless world connected by the Internet,” said Wilks. “New technology has created tremendous opportunity for canadians to communicate with each other and for businesses to compete globally.

“The internet makes things cheaper and the world smaller.”

Currently, 94 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed internet, but the challenge becomes servicing the remaining 6 per cent in rural areas of the country, Wilks added.

“Canada is a digital nation and as businesses increasingly move online to do business, speeds of 1.5 mbps simply aren’t good enough anymore,” Wilks said.

“Modern websites are often designed for faster speeds and business increasingly need to transfer larger files and use cloud computing.”

The federal government considers the floor of high-speed Internet to be five mbps.

Moore noted that the funding is coming out of a $305 million commitment from the 2014 federal budget that aims to get high-speed Internet to 280,000 households by 2017.

That program has been a big success, Moore said.

“We’ve overshot our goal by 75,000 households and we’ve done so at 40 per cent under budget and the footprint of these 11,000 that we’re announcing today—we’re doubling the Internet speeds that we’ve had for the national goal,” Moore said.

The funding came out of a $5 billion revenue stream stemming from a wireless spectrum sale in 2014, he added.

Moore noted the importance of high speed Internet to nation building, and compared it to the construction or the railroad to bring British Columbia into Confederation.

“Among the things that we look at as we go forward for the next 150 years in Canada, when it comes it keeping this country united, is not only infrastructure—the start of this country of course, bringing British Columbia into Confederation was a railway, then it was to build the highways, then was to build the ports and airports.

The next step of infrastructure, in terms of that contribution to nation building and keeping us united, really is digital infrastructure. It really is what’s next,” Moore said.

“…This is what nation-building looks like and it happens bit by bit across the country, drawing people together, connecting us all together for all the opportunities of the future.”

Kathryn Teneese, chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, opened the ceremony by highlighting the importance of digital technology and tying into a theme of reconciliation.

“I just wanted to say that the issue that we’re here to talk about today is something that began with the Ktunaxa Nation way back in 2002. We began with the concept of using the internet as a tool to help rejuvenate the critically endangered Ktunaxa language through online training and the possibility of audio and visual transmission into our communities,” she said.

“Some 13 years later, we continue to have many challenges and still unserved communities, largely in part due the high cost of infrastructure, development and remote mountainous areas and the small return on investment to deliver services.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (irishamerica.com)
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Most Read