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Posted: May 14, 2019

Large investment remains for Internet, Band points out

The Tobacco Plains Indian Band says an announcement last March touting improved Internet access coming to the South Country area is falling short – in that there is no Internet service to be improved.

The Chief and Council of the Tobacco Plains Indian Band today (May 14) released a statement seeking “to clarify numerous statements made in relation to a recent Government of British Columbia announcement regarding the high-speed fibre Internet project in the South Country.

“While the Leadership of Tobacco Plains Indian Band supported the application and agree that the project is a good step in providing high-speed Internet to the residents of Tobacco Plains and the residents of the South Country, the statements made omit the fact the scope of this project does not actually provide residents of Tobacco Plains, nor any other resident, with Internet,” the statement outlined.

“In fact, the project will require a large investment from the Tobacco Plains Indian Band to connect its citizens to this project in order to provide Internet to homes in the community.

“The Tobacco Plains Indian Band will continue to work to secure funding to complete this ‘last mile’ connection to connect homes within its community and truly hope that similar efforts are made on behalf of all South Country residents.”

The Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust), stated last March it was 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 project involves more than 50 kilometres of fibre-optic infrastructure installed between Jaffray and Roosville at an estimated total cost of $2.9 million.

Reached today to comment on the statement, the Trust noted the funded work will “increase broadband backbone capacity in the area. Fibre optic backbone is the first step in improving services to residents in communities.

“With a new fibre backbone in place, an Internet Service Provider can improve services to meet the needs of communities, businesses and residents. The Trust will continue to support local efforts to improve broadband services, including in the last mile.”


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