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UPDATE: Thousands hook onto high speed internet in North Okanagan

Coldstream, OKIB, Enderby, Armstrong areas gain infrastructure for connectivity

People and businesses previously lagging now have access to high-speed internet services.

Fixed wireless infrastructure needed for high-speed connectivity is installed for 288 households in the Coldstream, Priest’s Valley 6, Cosens Bay, Parker Cove Delta and Bouleau Lake Road areas. The installation of this infrastructure will allow the service provider to offer broadband internet with speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads.

New “last-mile” fixed wireless infrastructure for high-speed connectivity was also installed to more than 2,300 households in Armstrong, Enderby, Hullcar, Grindrod and the rural areas surrounding Enderby and Armstrong.

“Ensuring all British Columbians have access to reliable, high-speed internet services is critical to helping our communities grow. The past two years have underscored the importance of that connection, not only for entrepreneurs and businesses, but for students and families,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “Connectivity upgrade projects like this empower our rural and remote communities to participate and thrive in the local and global economies.”

The cost of the upgrade was approximately $126,000, with as much as $56,000 contributed by the province through the Connecting British Columbia program and administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust. The Province’s investment was matched with as much as $56,000 in federal funding. The remaining cost of as much as $12,700 was contributed by Kelowna-based internet service provider ispeed Communications.

“The demand for high-speed internet to rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic grew significantly,” said Dave Bradich, president, ispeed Communications. “We are pleased to have received federal and provincial government assistance to provide speeds of 50/10 Mbps with unlimited usage.”

The Province’s investment is part of the StrongerBC initiative under B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to protect people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.

“Connectivity is critical for jobs, employment and to stay connected to family, friends and loved ones,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “One of the main drivers of economic success is to ensure every rural, remote community of the province has access to high-speed internet. That’s why we are accelerating our goal to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet by 2027.”

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