by Stephen Hui
Seven more First Nations in British Columbia received broadband Internet connections this year.
That brings the total number of First Nations with high-speed Internet access to 177 out of 203 (87 percent), meaning 26 First Nations (13 percent) are still waiting for broadband as 2013 comes to a close.
These numbers were contained in a news release issued today (December 30) by the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services that touted expanded cellular coverage along B.C. highways.
According to the release, the provincial government is continuing to support—along with the federal government and the All Nations Trust Company—the $48.8-million Pathways to Technology project, which aims to bring high-speed Internet access to all First Nations in B.C.
In April, the province announced that the Lil’wat Nation—one of the four host First Nations of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games—had seen its Internet access upgraded to broadband as part of the project.
Back in 2009, 123 of 203 First Nations had broadband Internet connectivity.
Provincial budget documents dated March 2010 set out a target for the 2012-13 fiscal year of 195 First Nations (96 percent) with high-speed access.