Connectivity Funding Programs
Connecting British Columbia Program
The high cost of providing infrastructure for residents in and around rural and remote communities in B.C. has been identified by municipal governments, First Nations, Regional Districts, regional Internet service providers, and community advocates as one of the key barriers to expanding internet services.
The Connecting British Columbia program helps pay for infrastructure required to deliver high-speed internet connectivity to rural and remote areas of the province.
The program is funded by the Province of British Columbia and is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Phase Three (Current)
The Connecting British Columbia program is currently accepting applications for Phase Three of the program. Current funds are available right now to help internet service providers and regional and local governments connect people in rural and Indigenous communities with high-speed internet. The $50 million allocation to Phase Three is the largest single investment since the programs' creation in 2015. Phase One of the program totalled $10 million, followed by a $40 million investment in Phase Two.
As part of the Program, the Regional Connectivity Planning fund supports the development of regional connectivity infrastructure plans. This funding is intended to support eligible applicants with the technical infrastructure assessment of current and proposed networks in a regional connectivity plan.
The program intake is to provide funding for last-mile projects to ensure that infrastructure investments are, to the extent possible, coordinated, scalable, provide value for money and achieve priority objectives for the region.
This program intake is to provide funding for new infrastructure projects, upgrades to existing infrastructure or expansion of existing transport infrastructure and to ensure that these investments are, to the extent possible, coordinated, scalable, provide value for money and achieve priority objectives for the region.
Phase Two (Closed)
The program is finalizing Phase Two and will not be accepting new applications. Please see Phase Three for more information on the current intake.
Phase One (Completed)
Phase One of the program resulted in $10 million being invested into last-mile infrastructure that connected homes and businesses to high-speed Internet in rural and remote areas of B.C. This has provided numerous communities with increased opportunities for economic diversification and lifestyle enhancements, access to new business opportunities, services, education and ways to connect with family and friends.
Other Connectivity Funding Programs
Funding for connectivity projects comes from a variety of sources and may also be available to assist with rural and remote community connectivity planning. Both the federal and the provincial governments have created dedicated programs to help pay for infrastructure which ISPs can apply for:
- CRTC Broadband Fund
- Union of BC Municipalities (Gas Tax Fund)
- Pathways to Technology
- Infrastructure Canada: Investing in Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure
- Coastal Community Credit Union (Building Healthier Communities Fund)
Is there a program to expand connectivity in First Nations communities?
Connecting all 203 First Nations with high-speed connectivity is a priority for First Nations leadership and the B.C. government. Federal and provincial governments have granted funding to the All Nations Trust Company to connect all 203 First Nations with an internet connection through the Pathways to Technology project.
- Learn more about Pathways to Technology