Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation – Construction has begun on a fibre-to-the-home project that will bring access to high-speed internet to more than 500 households in six Indigenous communities: Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation’s Skwah 4 and Skwali 3; Cook’s Ferry Indian Band’s Entlqwekkinh19 and Kloklowuck 7; Squamish Nation’s Cheakamus 11; and Upper Nicola Band’s Nicola Lake 1.
Access to high-speed internet will give people the opportunity to further access government programs and supports, training and business opportunities and to participate more fully in the digital economy.
“Being close to connected communities is not the same as having the option to be connected to reliable high-speed internet in your home,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “This project is going to fill important connectivity gaps in the region, and I am looking forward to more people having access to connectivity and all the services, opportunities and comforts that come with it.”
In March 2022, the Province announced an agreement with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to connect all remaining rural and First Nations households in the province.
“Our community is among the Indigenous communities across Canada that are disproportionately affected by the lack of high-speed internet access,” said Chief Lara Mussell Savage, Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation. “This issue became more prevalent during the pandemic with the required at-home learning or remote working conditions faced by students or employees, and with a shift to e-health services. We at Sqwá (Skwah) First Nation are very pleased to be working together with Telus to support community values of self-determination through reliable connectivity via Telus Pure Fibre. This investment will provide our community with a better ability to access and support community priorities such as health, education, and employment programs and services.”
The plan to connect every household in B.C. to high-speed internet services by 2027 will level the playing field for British Columbians and ensure every community has better access to jobs, education, training and health care.