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Posted: June 23, 2021

Panorama in line for fibre-optic internet

The B.C. government today announced investments in high-speed internet to aid the tourism sector rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telus will receive up to $468,092 in grant funding through the Ministry of Citizens’ Services Connecting British Columbia program to bring fibre-optic internet to Panorama Mountain Resort, as well as to Raft River.

As well, ABC Communications will receive $176,681 in funding from the Connecting British Columbia program to improve the speed and reliability of internet connections in Horsefly.

“Panorama is a world-class resort destination, drawing skiers and riders from around the globe to share an incredible mountain experience. Now, our community will also offer the best communication technology thanks to this grant from the B.C. government,” stated Steve Paccagnan, president and CEO of Panorama Mountain Resort. “The advanced connectivity that Telus is delivering as a result of this funding opens up greater opportunities for travel and utilizing smart technology as we work to quickly recover from the impacts of the pandemic and grow tourism in the Kootenay Rockies.”

“The tourism sector is near and dear to my heart, and as we begin our recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic, investments in connectivity will help many of our small businesses and rural communities bounce back stronger than ever,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Improved internet access can help strengthen the recovery of tourism-based businesses and communities. These investments will make it easier for small businesses to market themselves, while adding an important amenity people can enjoy when visiting these beautiful communities.”

“These days people need high-speed internet service for everyday activities,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This investment enables people to plan a trip and stay connected to loved ones. It also empowers tourism businesses to more effectively market their businesses and ensures visitors can access travel information wherever they are, whenever they need it.”

Tony Geheran, Telus’ executive vice-president and chief customer officer said, “This partnership with government will deliver upon our collective commitment to bridge digital divides and support our province’s tourism sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our PureFibre networks have supported millions of British Columbians as we adapted to new ways of living through the pandemic. For our province’s tourism sector, world-leading connectivity will help businesses operate more efficiently, market themselves to compete on a global scale and enable their guests to stay connected.”

In September 2020, the province made its largest-ever contribution to the Connecting British Columbia program, with $90 million of new funding under the StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan.

Northern Development Initiative Trust has been the fund administrator for Connecting British Columbia since its start in 2015. Northern Development is a regionally operated economic development funding corporation for central and northern British Columbia and operates independently from government.

The Connecting British Columbia program-supported projects in Panorama Mountain Resort, Horsefly and Raft River and are expected to be completed by Oct. 31.

Telus will receive up to $372,535 for the Panorama Mountain Resort project and up to $95,557 for its work in Raft River.

The total value of these investments, including contributions from the Connecting British Columbia program and other sources, is an estimated $1.09 million.

e-KNOW file photo


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