Funding to Improve Rural Connectivity

The $50-million Connecting British Columbia program now includes a funding stream to help internet service providers with immediate network equipment upgrades to rapidly improve capacity and internet speeds in underserved communities throughout the province. Connecting British Columbia's COVID-19 response funding will help internet service providers (ISPs) to make immediate upgrades to their networks.

Internet service providers throughout the province can apply for grants of up to $50,000 for 90% of their expenses to cover the cost of equipment, including antennas, electronics or other types of devices that relate to the performance or range of their network.

Applications are now being accepted by Northern Development Initiative Trust. Submissions will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis, with funding decisions made within three to five business days. Internet service providers must complete their projects by June 30, 2020. Applications are also being accepted for the existing Phase 3 Connecting British Columbia quarterly intake.

UBCM has endorsed multiple resolutions calling for provincial and federal support for improved broadband connectivity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, including a 2019 resolution (B 54) from Prince George.

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