Letter: Province says it’s working hard to keep pace with change

As technologies advance, consumers expect faster internet service

To the editor,

Re: Editorial: outcome of internet announcement still ‘loading,’ Dec. 6, 2018

A big ‘thank you’ to the Black Press for its coverage of new high-speed internet projects in the area.

Expanding broadband networks is an absolute necessity for British Columbians to learn, do business, access services and stay connected.

Behind every browser search or movie stream is a complex system of high-tech infrastructure and government regulation. Similar to radio and TV, internet service standards are set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

As technologies advance, consumers expect faster internet service. This is why in 2016 the CRTC set a new goal to see 90 per cent of Canadian households connected with broadband internet at speeds of at least 50 Mbps – enough to load, share and stream photos and video enabling education, health, entertainment and other services.

With federally-set goals in mind, B.C. and Ottawa make grant funding available to public and private sector organizations to build and upgrade high-speed internet services in rural and Indigenous communities.

The three projects announced on Nov. 26 will provide residents in Wells, Deka Lake and Clinton with the new CRTC standard of 50 Mbps download speeds. The Cariboo projects referenced in the editorial were funded under a previous program with a different service standard.

I also want to assure readers that the Province’s funding process includes rigorous accountability measures to ensure internet upgrades meet the CRTC standards and public monies are used effectively.

Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in all aspects of our lives. Our government is working hard to keep pace with change and expand internet connectivity so people throughout B.C. can grow and prosper.

For more information on my ministry’s work to connect British Columbians with high-speed internet meeting the current CRTC goal, visit https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/internet-connectivity-in-bc.

Jinny Sims

Minister of Citizens’ Services

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