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Highway to high speed broadband paved through north Kootenay Lake region

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
August 4th, 2023

People in the northern area of Kootenay Lake are making the connection.

Access to reliable, high-speed internet services is now available in the region 100 kilometres north of Nelson, setting up for 330 households in six communities.

With the completion of new last-mile network infrastructure by local service provider Kaslo infoNet Society (KiN), people in Lower Kaslo Southeast, Argenta, Johnsons Landing, Shutty Bench, Zwicky Road and Allen Subdivision will have the ability to use high-speed broadband internet speeds of more than 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, and 10 Mbps for uploads.

Partially funded by the Province through the Connecting British Columbia program — which built backbone fibre infrastructure in the north Kootenay Lake area — the latest work builds upon an earlier project in the area by KiN.

“Having high-speed internet access at home in my remote community of Argenta has been a game-changer, allowing me to reliably attend video meetings and work from home,” said Chelsey Jones, executive director of the Lardeau Valley Opportunity LINKS Society, in a press release. “Improved connectivity throughout the Lardeau Valley will facilitate community development, and make a big difference in attracting and retaining residents and businesses in our communities.”

The Province contributed $259,600 through the Connecting British Columbia program — administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust — for the nearly $600,000 cost of the project. Service provider Kaslo infoNet Society contributed approximately $337,400.

“Broadband is becoming increasingly important to people in urban and rural areas alike. It’s essential for commerce, communication and community safety,” said Suzan Hewat, mayor of the Kaslo in a release. “Residents and businesses in Kaslo and Area D now have access to connectivity at a level of service enjoyed by larger urban centres, thanks to the steady efforts of the Kaslo infoNet Society.”

Access to high-speed internet services for rural and remote regions opens up a world of possibilities, said Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson.

“It makes it possible for people to stay in the communities they love while having access to services, resources, employment and education, and enables them to connect with others,” she said.

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