The $45.4 million Connected Coast project has completed the installation of 87 kilometers of fiber optic cable connecting Haida Gwaii to Bonilla Island, just south of Prince Rupert, the Department of Citizen Services announced on July 4. July.
On June 29, the cable-laying vessel arrived in Tlell after laying cables along the ocean floor through Hectate Strait, which will be the backbone of the infrastructure.
This will be the first time residents of Haida Gwaii will be able to access the Internet via fiber optic cable. The Connected Coast website states that fiber optic technology is the preferred method of delivering data as it has the greatest data transfer capacity.
It “is going to transform the lives of people here on the island,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizen Services.
She made announcements about the new connection to Old Massett and Queen Charlotte on July 4.
“There is recognition with every event of what this means for the economy of the island, what this means for people and for families.”
Beare explained how reliable high-speed internet will allow people to grow their businesses. Artists will be able to sell their wares in an international online marketplace and tourism businesses will be able to develop a greater online presence.
High-speed Internet is also important for residents.
“Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the whole day with families from Old Massett to Tow Hill and see all the children, my daughter being able to play with all the children, who will now be able to access education online or access telehealth. when they need a pediatric specialist, it’s to have those connections to the community as well as the economic opportunity,” Beare said.
“This is an important milestone for Haida Gwaii. Although known to be one of the most isolated places in British Columbia, high-speed internet will reduce the pressure of that isolation and allow residents of Haida Gwaii to fully participate in today’s digital world. today,” said Jennifer Rice, MP for the North Coast.
“It opens up a world of opportunities and provides access to essential security services. This project would not have been possible without the leadership of First Nations and federal and local governments.
The project is funded by the federal and provincial governments and managed by CityWest and the Regional District of Strathcona.
The next stage of the project is to connect the main fiber optic cable to each household. Those final connections will be built over the next year by service providers, Beare said.
Announced in 2018, the Connected Coast project will bring high-speed internet to approximately 139 rural and remote communities, including 48 First Nations communities, along the coast of British Columbia, from northern Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, south of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The project is approximately 45% complete, with over 500 kilometers of fiber optic cables laid and 21 landing sites completed.