Local communities are expected to benefit from $3.34 million in federal funding to the Columbia Basin Trust to bring high-speed Internet services to Kootenay households.
The broadband infrastructure project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, delivering Internet speeds of up to ten megabits per second.
Among the West Kootenay communities mentioned in a news release this week: Ainsworth Hot Springs, Blewett, Boswell, Crawford Bay, Ferguson, Glade, Gray Creek, Harrop, Riondel, Salmo, Sirdar, South Slocan, the Slocan Valley, and Ymir.
“The Columbia Basin Trust is committed to bringing better broadband to the region, and this funding is an important step forward in giving over 11,000 households the ability to participate fully in the digital world,” said president and CEO Neil Muth.
Last year, Industry Canada invited Internet service providers to submit proposals for funding to build the wireless or wired infrastructure needed to provide services to rural and remote communities. They received over 300 applications.
“The announcement marks the next important phase in our plan to bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to more than 280,000 Canadian households, including in the Kootenays,” said industry minister James Moore.
The Trust’s subsidiary, the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation, will coordinate the project and work with 12 Internet service providers in the region, including Columbia Wireless, the East Shore Internet Society, and Kaslo InfoNet Society.