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Posted: March 22, 2019

Internet boost coming for South Country

Improved high-speed Internet is on the way for 26 communities in the Kootenays, bringing people opportunities to learn, connect and better expand their businesses.

Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust, is receiving $4.8 million in provincial funds for two new projects to improve broadband access in rural areas, including South Country communities Tobacco Plains (?akinkum+asnuq+?it), Baynes Lake, Grasmere, Jaffray, Kragmont and Roosville.

The South Country project involves more than 50 kilometres of fibre-optic infrastructure installed between Jaffray and Roosville at an estimated total cost of $2.9 million.

“In today’s digital age, the internet is part of the foundation for growing good-paying jobs, learning, healthcare and keeping in touch. Our government is committed to a future where everyone in B.C. has access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “We have incredible tools and resources available to help rural and Indigenous communities form their own digital strategy so they can come forward with applications.”

CBBC will install fibre-optic infrastructure for the two new projects announced today (March 22) in the South Country and the Slocan Valley to just outside Nakusp. New fibre-optic lines will enable Internet service providers to offer faster and more reliable services to people throughout the region.

Johnny Strilaeff

“Residents have told us that increasing high-speed internet connectivity throughout the region is important to them,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. “Our partnership with the province and local governments will expand affordable broadband availability in the Slocan Valley and South Country area. With a new fibre backbone in place, local internet service providers can greatly improve service to more residents in both areas.”

The total value of the two projects is approximately $10.2 million and includes $4.4 million from CBBC, $420,000 from the Regional District of East Kootenay and $525,000 from the Regional District of Central Kootenay and communities in the Slocan Valley and Nakusp.

The Slocan Valley project will see CBBC install 125 kilometres of fibre-optic infrastructure to service the region between Shoreholme, just north of Nakusp, and the Playmor Junction, at an estimated total cost of $7.2 million.

Communities benefiting from this work include Appledale, Brouse, Crescent Valley, Hills, Lebahdo, Lemon Creek, Nakusp, New Denver, Passmore, Perrys, Playmor Junction, Rosebery, Shoreholme, Silverton, Slocan, Slocan Park, South Slocan, Summit Lake, Vallican and Winlaw.

These two projects are funded through the Connecting British Columbia intake announced in 2018 and are administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.

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