VICTORIA, B.C. — Citizens’ Services Minister Jinny Sims announced yesterday that the provincial government will contribute $7 million for Shaw Communications to build a fibre-optic cable along the Hart Highway between Prince George and Dawson Creek.
The fibre optic line that will be built from the Northern Cariboo to the Peace Region will be just over 400 kilometres in length, and is one of four connectivity projects being funded by the B.C. government. Shaw has had issues serving the Peace Region in the past, and yesterday’s announcement came just one day after an issue with a fibre line caused Shaw customers in Fort St. John, Taylor, and Dawson Creek to experience a service interruption. Last year, Shaw customers in the Peace experienced three separate outages due to issues with the company’s network.
On Tuesday, Sims announced that the Province and Feds are both partnering with internet service providers on $38 million worth of Internet infrastructure across B.C., with the provincial government contributing $11.3 million in total.
“This is not just an investment in high-speed internet, it’s an investment in the future for those living in rural, First Nations and Indigenous communities, so they have access to cutting-edge emergency services, high-quality health care, world-class education and improved ability to participate in the growing digital economy,” said Sims. “By working with our federal and local partners, we are leveraging relationships to give people in these communities the same internet access as those living in major urban centres.”
The announcement was part of an event hosted by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, as the federal government committed a further $19,748,063 to the four projects.
“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury, it’s essential,” said Bains. “High-speed internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”