British Columbia-based Internet provider ABC Communications has been awarded more than $5 million from federal, provincial and regional governments to deliver faster broadband services to many rural regions of B.C.
ABC will also be investing an additional $2 million into these projects for a total project value of more than $7 million.
ABC’s three-year deployment plan will bring a minimum of 10 Mbps Internet services to as many as 12,800 households in communities across the province, including Lac La Hache, 100 Mile House, 70 Mile House and Lone Butte.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says this is good news.
“I’m hopeful it will reach out to a lot of places that don’t have access to high-speed Internet.”
Noting there a lot of people who live in rural areas who work at home, Barnett says their corporations or affiliations may be in the urban centres, but they can do their work from home.
“This will encourage economic growth. It will also give people access to the quality of life that they wish to have.”
The MLA adds people may want to look up some health information that they can get through the Internet, and they can get assistance that otherwise wouldn’t be available to them.
“You can solve a lot of your problems right at home.”
Barnett says it is wonderful to see this accessibility coming to rural British Columbia.
“With the rise of online streaming and rich multimedia applications, we see an ever-increasing demand for faster data connectivity over our networks; with these expansions, our customers will have access to the fast, reliable connection they need,” says ABC vice-president Falko Kadenbach.
ABC will deploy leading-edge TD-LTE wireless equipment in combination with its licensed 3.5 GHz spectrum to provide coverage up to 30 kilometres from the tower site. Providing a wireless alternative for “last-mile” broadband access is key to bridging the digital divide in rural communities, Kadenbach explains.
This project is receiving funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Connecting Canadians program, which is part of Canada’s digital economy strategy, and the provincial Connecting British Columbia Grant Program.