The Similkameen First Nations communities and three rural towns along Highway 3 have access to high-speed internet services.
The newly launched regional project delivers last-mile fiber to homes in the Lower Similkameen Indian Band communities of Alexis 9, Ashnola 10, Blind Creek 6, Chopaka 7 and 8. It also serves the Upper Similkameen Indian Band community in Chuchuwayha 2 and communities near Cawston. and Hedley and Olalla.
“Connectivity has become essential to doing business in today’s world, and we are working hard to ensure that all rural and remote communities in British Columbia have access to high-speed internet,” said Lisa Pierre, Minister for Citizen Services.
“This project will ensure Similkameen residents have the tools they need to learn, do business, access services and stay connected.”
The province invested $3.7 million through the British Columbia Connection Program at a total cost of $5.8 million. Telus Communications Inc. contributed. in this difference.
“Upgrading to Similkameen Connectivity will support individuals, businesses and communities in their ability to work, learn and stay healthy with reliable, high-speed internet,” said Rowley Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development and MLA for Boundary-Similkameen.
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of reliable, high-speed internet access for all people – be it for safety, healthcare or economic development. We know how critical these needs are especially in rural, remote and indigenous communities.”
The ten Similkameen communities along Highway 3 were previously served over a fixed wireless network providing a maximum internet speed of 25 Mbps. The new fiber-optic cable will provide each community with speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps.
The province’s investment in this service upgrade project is part of StrongerBC’s British Columbia Economic Recovery Plan to protect people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.