Editor’s note: The Connected Coast project has just laid 87 kilometres of fibre-optic cable across the seabed of Hecate Strait to bring high-speed connectivity to Haida Gwaii.
By Kaitlyn Bailey, Prince Rupert Northern View, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
More than $10,000 in Telus-funded upgrades will benefit Queen Charlotte and Skidegate after the company’s June investment in the broadband and cellular services, the telecommunications organization announced on July 4.
Residents in these communities can now access high-speed internet up to 120 megabits per second through the Telus company, Mascon. For the first time, those living in the communities will also be able to access high-speed wireless voice and internet services.
“Our longstanding investments on Haida Gwaii are supporting critical, transformational change in respect to enabling online healthcare, education, and the ability to work from home or operate a local business and compete globally,” Tony Geheran, chief operations officer at Telus said.
This investment is part of their Reconciliation Commitment, which their website states is committed to reconciliation in a “deeply meaningful way.
“We continue to engage with communities and Indigenous leaders in ways that they want to engage with us, and believe it is our responsibility as a socially purpose driven organization to use our voice, business and relationships to encourage Reconciliation across Canada,” Geheran said.
At the beginning of the pandemic Telus partnered with the Council of the Haida Nation, Haida Gwaii Museum and Haida Gwaii School District (SD 50) to provide elders with tablets to help keep them connected.
“When the pandemic hit we knew we needed to ensure our Elders were protected. When we approached Telus and Mascon by Telus, early in the pandemic they listened and worked with us as members of our community to support our iPads for Elders program, including enabling connectivity to 35 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Elders,” Jisgang Nika Collison, executive director and chief curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum said.
“In a time of such instability and fear the team showed nothing but respect for our Elders.”
Top image credit: Mascon, a Telus company, in Masset – Photo by Kaitlyn Bailey
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