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Aug. 15, 2022
SMITHERS – Residents and visitors in the Fort Babine area will soon enjoy the benefits of improved cellular coverage.
“Expanded cellular coverage in Fort Babine will provide easy wireless access to high-speed internet for residents of Lake Babine Nation as well as visitors to the area,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Cellular coverage not only ensures people can stay connected with access to emergency 911 services while on the road, it also offers extensive coverage for reliable access to services and supports like digital learning, health care and wider economic opportunities.”
New cellular infrastructure will expand coverage for the First Nations community of Babine 6 (Lake Babine Nation) and along nearly six kilometres of highway next to Lake Babine. Residents around Lake Babine and visitors to the lake can now take advantage of the benefits of cellular coverage, which enables access to voice, data and emergency 911 services. This project is underway and is expected to be complete by 2024.
“Lake Babine Nation leadership invites the new cellular infrastructure within our traditional territory with Telus,” said Chief Murphy Abraham of Lake Babine Nation. “This will create more education and training opportunities for the Nation’s people in Wit’at (Fort Babine). We thank all those who made this possible, and we look forward to a brighter future in the evolving world of communication.”
The Province has allocated as much as $2 million through the Connecting British Columbia program, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, for a total project cost of approximately $2.3 million. Telus Communications Inc. will contribute as much as $231,000.
“Telus is committed to ensuring everyone can thrive in our digital world, no matter where they live,” said Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and chief operations officer, Telus. “We are proud to work alongside Lake Babine Nation and the Government of British Columbia to bring wireless connectivity to Lake Babine Nation members. This is part of our ongoing commitment to enable rural and Indigenous communities across the province, equipping residents and businesses with the speeds and coverage they need to connect to the people and information that matter the most.”
The Province’s investment is part of the StrongerBC initiative under B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to build back a strong economy with inclusive growth for all communities.
A partnership between the Province and the federal government was announced in March 2022 to provide up to $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to the remaining rural and First Nations communities that are underserved. The goal to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet by 2027 aims to ensure every community has access to jobs, education, training and health care.
Connectivity in B.C.: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/connectivity-in-bc
Northern Development Initiative Trust: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/connecting-british-columbia/
StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.ca/plan
Ministry of Citizens’ Services
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