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NEWS RELEASE · 8th April 2010
Ministry of Citizens' Services
British Columbians in up to 50 rural and remote locales will soon have the world at their fingertips with over $1 million in provincial funding to expand broadband connectivity announced Citizens’ Services Minister Ben Stewart.

“In the past two years, we’ve partnered with communities on almost 100 broadband projects through Network BC’s Connecting Citizens Grant Program,” said Stewart. “Each new project improves the quality of life for citizens living in rural and remote locales by increasing access to online learning and skills training, health and government services.

Applications from all areas of the province have been reviewed and evaluated, completing the second year of the multi-year funding program. Grants totalling $1.3 million will support 30 projects to be completed over the next year. Under Network BC, infrastructure grants were made available to eligible applicants where the ability to expand Internet high-speed service to unconnected areas was demonstrated.

The Connecting Citizens Grant Program was announced by Premier Gordon Campbell at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in September 2008. The program is a $5.2 million, multi-year grant program that provides up to $50,000 per project.

“We are delighted with today's funding announcement,” said Bob Allen of ABC Communications, Northern B.C.'s largest provider of integrated telecommunications products and services. “The work we did last year to expand broadband network infrastructure into areas such as Beaverdell, Nukko Lake, Kettle Valley, McLeese Lake and Nazko could not have been achieved without the support of Network BC.”

As part of the Ministry of Citizens’ Services, Network BC’s collaborative leadership model has gained international recognition. Network BC was named laureate of the international Computerworld honours program for innovation and has been recognized by the Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards annually since 2006 for its collaborative partnerships to support connectivity in rural and remote areas.

A list of successful projects of the 2009-2010 Connecting Citizens Grant Program is in the attached backgrounder.

BACKGROUNDER

CONNECTING CITIZENS GRANT PROGRAM ROUND 2 GRANTS 2009/2010

In 2009, nearly 100 applications for funding assistance under the Connecting Citizens Grant Program were received from all over British Columbia. Applications were adjudicated based on the published program criteria and 30 projects will be funded in this round of the multi-year program.

Extending last-mile broadband connectivity is making a significant contribution to bridging the digital divide in British Columbia.

Projects funded in this round must be completed by March 31, 2011.

Locale - Applicant - Amount

Bamfield, Anacla - Community Wireless Networks - $20,000

Burton - Burton Internet Society - $50,000

Canim Lake - BC Wireless Ltd. / 100 Mile Netshop Ltd. - $50,000

Creston Valley - Wynndel Internet Society - $50,000

Faulder - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $46,954

Francois Lake - 508533 British Columbia Ltd. (dba Hwy16 Internet) - $5,000

Gantahaz Subdivision - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $49,606

Gateway, Buffalo Creek, Houseman Road area - BC Wireless Ltd. / 100 Mile Netshop Ltd. - $50,000

Gold Bridge - Minto Communications Society - $50,000

Gordon River Reserve - San Juan Enterprises Ltd. - $50,000

Gun Lake - Minto Communications Society - $50,000

Horsefly Lake, Horsefly Mountain, area south of Horsefly town site - BC Wireless Ltd. /100 Mile Netshop Ltd. - $50,000

Hudson's Hope - Peace Region Internet Society - $50,000

Masset area - GwaiiTel Society - $50,000

Old Massett Village area - GwaiiTel Society - $50,000

Palling - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $30,514

Roe Lake, L. Fish Lake, Grosset Rd, Wilson Lake, Lac Des Roches - BC Wireless Ltd. /100 Mile Netshop Ltd. - $50,000

Rosebery - Red Mountain Internet Society - $50,000

Saturna Island - Saturna Net Co-operative - $50,000

Shalalth, Seton Portage - Seton Lake Indian Band - $50,000

Shelley - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $50,000

Shelley-Glen - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $47,042

Skawahlook First Nation - Skawahlook First Nation - $34,259

Timothy Lake, Greeney Lake, NE end of Lac La Hache - BC Wireless Ltd. / 100 Mile Netshop Ltd. - $50,000

Tobacco Plains, Grasmere, Roosville, Kookanusa and Newgate rural areas - FlexiNET Broadband Inc. - $50,000

Tsaxana - Conuma Cable Systems Ltd. - $50,000

Tyaughton Lake - Minto Communications Society - $48,480

Wasa, Tata Creek and Wolf Creek rural areas - FlexiNET Broadband Inc. - $50,000

Whitecroft - AirSpeed Wireless Inc. - $50,000

Wilson Landing - ABC Allen Business Communications Ltd. - $48,580