Starlink is getting big uptake in South Cariboo.

Staying connected

Internet should be available and affordable to all.

The Internet.

For most of us, it’s become as commonplace as a pen and paper. We use it to work and play, to shop and browse, to connect and stay in touch. We use it to watch movies, listen to music or do our taxes. The pandemic highlighted just how reliant we are on this technology, not only to remain connected but to work from home or talk to our loved ones over Zoom or FaceTime.

In the South Cariboo, the Internet has even allowed people to move here from the city because they can now work from anywhere.

But for many people, especially in rural areas, the Internet is anything but reliable.

The South Cariboo Regional District is in the midst of analyzing a recent survey on cellular and broadband services across the region, where Internet speeds can be slower than a drip of molasses.

It’s not surprising then that the “Better than Nothing Beta” of billionaire Elon Musk’s new internet service Starlink is seeing a big uptake here, especially in areas like Forest Grove and 100 Mile House. This ambitious project aims to ultimately offer internet to the entire planet by the launch of thousands of low-orbit satellites. The initial cost to buy in is steep, but so far it seems that people are saying it’s worth it.

It’s a good step in the right direction. As we move more toward working from home, or outside corporate offices, we can’t afford to not have high-speed Internet across the entire province.

But it has to be affordable to all.

Since its inception, due to both the realities of infrastructure and larger budgets, urban areas have always had better internet services than rural communities. Most internet services in major cities rely on wired connections to operate which, for a city, is a relatively easy infrastructure to install. When it comes to installing this in rural communities like Horse Lake or Forest Grove, however, where homes are spread out across larger acreages, such infrastructure is at best expensive, or at worse, impractical.

This is why for many years rural residents have had to rely on dial-up internet access or more recently satellite internet like the services provided by Xplornet. Even still, speed has been slow and insufficient. Yet even with Starlink, there will be those who can’t afford to get it.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

In this day and age, when the Internet is such a big player in our lives – indeed, some argue it should be a basic human right – it’s crucial that we all have the same ability to stay connected.

The internet has become an essential service. We know that now more than ever. And we can’t allow people to be cut off simply because of where they live.

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

Just Posted

Murray Booth is a conservation officer in 100 Mile House. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Conservation officer game for anything

No day is ever the same for Murray Booth, one of two COs in 100 Mile House.

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Beverly DeSantis is hoping to become the new Conservative nominee to replace retiring MP Cathy McLeod. (Photo submitted)
Beverley DeSantis is hoping to become the new Conservative nominee to replace retiring MP Cathy McLeod. (Photo submitted)
Conservative race heats up to replace Cathy McLeod

Beverley DeSantis seeks the MP nomination

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read