fast relaible internet is important

Bringing fast reliable internet to Cortes and Quadra this fall

The Province of British Columbia will be bringing fast reliable internet to remote communities  like Cortes Island, Quadra Island and Zeballos by the fall of 2021.

Fast reliable internet is more important

“Fast reliable internet is more important than ever. In fact we couldn’t be here today without it,” said Lisa Beare, BC’s Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Today I can tell you that the Connecting British Columbia program is approving more than $10.5 million in grants to improve internet speeds on BC’s coasts.  This means that people in places like Zeballos and Quadra Island and Bella Coola will soon see improved internet speed and reliability. People benefitting from these projects are members of several indigenous projects as well: the Haida, the Nuxalk, Ehattesaht and the Klahoose Nation.”

Cortes, Quadra and Zeballos

More than $4 million of this money will go to the Strathcona Regional District.

According to Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson, “Internet connectivity at a regional scale has been one of the key priorities of the Regional District for a little shy of a decade.”

fast reliable internet is coming to Cortes and Quadra Islands
Sites on Cortes and Quadra Islands – adapted from Google Maps by Roy L Hales

The provincial government press release mentions three north Quadra Island Sites – Granite Bay, Bold Point and Open Bay, as well as the village of Zeballos

Anderson spoke about the three Cortes locations: Whaletown, Squirrel Cove and Mansons Landing.

Telus has been looking at potential sites for communication towers, but a number of Cortes residents expressed their opposition to this kind of idea when Connected Coast came to Manson’s Hall two years ago. They were concerned about electromagnetic waves emanating from wireless communication towers.

“When the Regional District did outreach about our ‘last mile’ priorities  a couple of years ago, it was really clear that people wanted fibre (cables) to their homes,” explained Anderson. “We will get fibre active cable that will connect into that subsea cable, run along the telephone poles and into people’s homes. As far as I understand, we need to have this project completed by the Fall.”  

She made it clear that this is not a business case that Telus or any other internet provider would have used, it was only financially feasible because of government funding.

Zeballos needs fast reliable internet
Location of Zeballos in relationship to Campbell River – adapted from Google Maps by Roy L Hales

Importance to North Island

“I really want to say thank-you to everybody who helped make the investment in coastal communities come to fruition. So many people in my constituency are looking forward to the Connected Coast project. It brings such great benefits to the North Vancouver Island, whether it be just connecting to government services (Tia health), distance education, Emergency Management BC, or to create those economic diversification portfolios for those small communities that are trying to transition through our new economy,” said  North Island MLA Michele Babchuk, who was Chair of the Strathcona Regional District during the latter phase of negotiations.

She added, “Struggling with those slow download speeds and unreliable connections has been (difficult) for people in the North Island.”

Links of Interest

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

Mom teaching her daughter on a laptop by Nenad Stojkovic via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.