(Haida Gwaii/hellobc.com)

Nearly 140 BC coastal communities will feel more connected now that high-speed fibre optics infrastructure will begin to be constructed.

Last week, a ship arrived with the equipment at Campbell River to begin laying subsea fibre optics cable along the ocean floor to landing sites throughout coastal BC towards Haida Gwaii.

The province’s $45.4-million Connected Coast project, announced in 2018, will bring high-speed internet transport connection to approximately 139 rural and remote coastal communities, including 48 Indigenous communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of quality, high-speed internet to learn, do business, stay healthy, access services and keep in touch with loved ones,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services.

“Through Connected Coast, people and businesses in remote and underserved communities along BC’s coast can stay connected and participate in economic opportunities – faster.”

Since 2017, the province said it has invested $190 million into expanding high-speed internet and cellular connectivity throughout the province.

“Budget 2021 committed stable funding to connectivity for the first time, ensuring these important investments will continue. Many of these projects are in progress and their benefits will be realized by rural and northern communities in the next three years,” a statement from the BC government said.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2023.

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