Rural communities such as Likely will now have access to high speed internet. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Rural communities such as Likely will now have access to high speed internet. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

High-speed internet services expanded to 6 rural Cariboo communities

Likely, Hydraulic, 150 Mile House, Miocene, Bridge Lake and Dugan Lake to benefit

Over 1,300 households in six more communities in the Cariboo now have access to high-speed internet services thanks to the installation of new fibre to the home.

“Rural communities are an essential part of the province’s economic engine. With the completion of this project, people in these six communities in the Cariboo can now enjoy high-speed internet services allowing access to a wide range of local and global opportunities,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, who made the announcement during a stop at 150 Mile House Friday, Jan. 20. “Our commitment to connect every rural, remote and Indigenous community in B.C. by 2027 ensures the benefits of high-speed internet are shared by everyone in B.C.”

Installation of new infrastructure in Likely, Hydraulic, 150 Mile House, Miocene, Bridge Lake and Dugan Lake provides access to high-speed broadband internet speeds of more than 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, and 10 Mbps for uploads.

B.C. invested up to $1.68 million, alongside a federal government contribution of up to $1.69 million and an up to $2.5 million investment by Telus Communications Inc., toward the approximately $5.9 million total cost of the project.

“Establishing better connectivity for our rural and remote communities supports the work of communities and the province of B.C. to build an innovative, sustainable and inclusive economy for all,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development. “Access to high-speed internet services will open up more opportunities for people and businesses in these communities to grow, connect, learn, and live up to their enormous potential.”

Maureen LeBourdais, Electoral Area F Director for Horsefly – Likely – 150 Mile House, Cariboo Regional District said the update is greatly appreciated.

“Access to high-speed internet is a key driver of economic sustainability and opportunities, supports our public safety and emergency management efforts, and is essential to the future of our rural communities.”

The work to expand infrastructure enabling high-speed internet access for remote and rural communities in the Cariboo has been ongoing, with multiple projects completed recently and more to come. December 2022 saw the completion of a project connecting over 700 households in the Deka Lake and Ruth Lake communities. Earlier in June 2022, the installation of new fibre to home connected more than 1,200 households in 15 communities, including four First Nations communities, in the Cariboo region.

The province will also invest up to $1.3 million toward a new $2.1 million project to expand high-speed internet to over 300 households in the community of Sheridan Lake. Internet service provider Telus Communications Inc. will contribute approximately $828,000 toward the project.

“Connecting the Cariboo region to the world with high-speed internet continues to be a priority for the regional district, and I am pleased to see these critical upgrades completed,” said Margo Wagner, chair, Cariboo Regional District, and chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “There remains significant work to be completed throughout our region, and we will continue working with the Province and our broadband service providers to strategically expand high-speed internet upgrades in our region.”

In March 2022, the province partnered with the federal government to provide up to $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to connect all remaining rural and First Nations households in the Province.

The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet services by 2027 will level the playing field for British Columbians and ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training and health care.

Cariboo