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Project receives $500,000 to improve North Peace internet speed

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The province has doled out over $500,000 to improve internet speeds in the North Peace. V…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The province has doled out over $500,000 to improve internet speeds in the North Peace.

Vincent Communications received the funding and has completed a project enabling high-speed internet access for people in Attachie, Bear Flat, Buick, Cecil Lake, Kobes, Mile 62 ½, Montney, Pink Mountain and Wonowon.  On Thursday, the Ministry of Citizens’ Services said the project also lays the groundwork for connecting other communities in the future.

The funding came from the Connecting British Columbia program as part of its estimated $1.06 million to improve internet and cellular services in the north.

“After opening an office in Fort St. John in 2015, it became apparent that reliable, rural high-speed internet service had been lacking in the area,” said Vincent Communications CEO Scott Vincent in a statement Thursday.

“A grant from the Connecting British Columbia program afforded us the opportunity to build infrastructure to help fill some of the service gaps in the Peace River Regional District. We plan to further invest in the region by continuing our expansion further north to enable high-speed access to even more communities.”

Telus will also receive up to $3.6 million from the program to upgrade internet access in northern communities, including Rolla, Buffalo Creek, Gateway, Forest Grove, Eagle Creek, Canim Lake, Blue River, Salmon Valley, Willow River, and Westlake.

The recent funding will improve connectivity in 19 northern communities through the Connecting B.C program, which the Northern Development Initiative Trust administrates.

“It’s hard to imagine running a business today without high-speed internet, and yet that’s exactly what many people in northern B.C. deal with every day. These investments will unlock new opportunities to do business, recruit talent and create jobs that support families,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, in a statement Thursday.

“B.C.’s northern communities are essential to the province’s economic future. Ensuring people have the internet access they need will help them be successful whether it’s at home, work or school.”

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