High-Speed Internet Coming to the Kootenays
July 8, 2015 – Cranbrook, British Columbia
Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadians have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, and David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay–Columbia, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide $3.34 million to the Columbia Basin Trust to bring high-speed Internet services to approximately 11,000 households in British Columbia. Mr. Wilks highlighted the communities that will benefit in the Kootenay region, including many in Cranbrook, East Kootenay and Columbia Shuswap.
The broadband infrastructure project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, delivering Internet speeds of up to ten megabits per second (Mbps), twice as fast as the target speed for the Connecting Canadians program.
For Canadians who live in communities with slow or no Internet, access to high-speed services will lead to new economic opportunities and the creation of new jobs, products and services.
By Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, over 98 percent of Canadian households will be able to subscribe to new or improved high-speed Internet services, delivering on the Harper Government’s commitment to rural Canadians.
- Under the Connecting Canadians program, the Columbia Basin Trust will receive $3.34 million to connect approximately 11,000 households in the Kootenay region, including in:
- Ainsworth Hot Springs, Baynes Lake, Beaver Valley, Blewett, Boswell, Boundary (Bridesville to Christina Lake), Bountiful, Brisco, Canal Flats, Canyon, Crawford Bay, Deer Park, Edgewater, Edgewood, Elk Valley, Elko, Fairmont Hot Springs, Ferguson,Field, Fruitvale, Genelle, Glade, Grasmere, Gray Creek, Harrogate, Harrop, Jaffray, Kingsgate, Kitchener, Lister, Moyie Lake, Northern Kootenay Lake communities, Parson, Renata, Riondel, Ross Spur, rural Rossland, Salmo, Sirdar, Slocan Valley, Spillimacheen, South Slocan,Tarrys, Thrums, Wasa, West Creston, Whatshan Lake and surrounding area, Wilmer, Windermere, Wynndel, Yahk and Ymir.
- Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada created the Connecting Canadians program, backed by a $305-million commitment to connect an additional 280,000 households in rural and remote regions of the country to high-speed Internet services at minimum speeds of 5 Mbps.
- The Government has exceeded its Economic Action Plan 2014 target by over 75,000 households in the first round of project approvals, bringing high-speed Internet access to more than 356,000 homes across Canada, and nearly 40 percent under budget.
- Last summer, the Government invited Canadians to provide feedback online to help better determine areas in need of high-speed Internet access. Once information was received, Industry Canada invited Internet service providers to submit proposals for funding under Connecting Canadians to build the wireless or wired infrastructure that will provide services to rural and remote communities in need.
- The first projects are expected to be completed by the time Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
- Industry Canada received over 300 applications to the Connecting Canadians program from Internet service providers across Canada.
- Every province and territory across the country will benefit from the Connecting Canadians program. Announcements of individual projects will be made throughout the summer.
“The announcement marks the next important phase in our plan to bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to more than 280,000 Canadian households, including in the Kootenays. Providing Canadians with access to high-speed Internet for learning, business opportunities and so much more is key to creating a more connected, digital Canada.”
– James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia
“This is great news for the Kootenays and shows that the Government of Canada understands the importance of high-speed Internet access for our communities and people. Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to delivering for rural Canadians.”
– David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay–Columbia
“The Columbia Basin Trust is committed to bringing better broadband to the Columbia Basin–Boundary region, and this funding is an important step forward in giving over 11,000 households the ability to participate fully in the digital world. Thank you to the Minister, the Government of Canada, our local government partners and Internet service providers for their efforts in bringing affordable high-speed Internet services to our communities.”
– Neil Muth, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust