The Connecting British Columbia program is a province-wide program administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust (Northern Development) and is available to all eligible applicants. It is funded by the Province of British Columbia.
The current objective of the multi-year Connecting British Columbia program is to accelerate the delivery of high-speed internet connectivity at minimum target speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 10 Mbps up to homes and businesses in rural communities in B.C.
The high cost of infrastructure has been identified by local governments, First Nations, and internet service providers 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 areas of the province.
This stream of the Connecting British Columbia program provides funding to support the development of regional connectivity infrastructure strategies. Strategies should ensure that infrastructure investments are coordinated, scalable, provide value for money, and achieve priority objectives for the region.
Connectivity Infrastructure Strategy
This program intake is to provide funding support for local municipal governments, regional districts and First Nations with limited capacity to undertake a connectivity infrastructure strategy (e.g., feasibility assessments, business cases, developing applications) to develop sustainable connectivity infrastructure projects. The development of connectivity infrastructure strategies are important to ensure that infrastructure investments are, to the extent possible, coordinated, scalable, provide value for money and achieve priority objectives for the region.
- Applications will be reviewed and assessed on a first come, first serve basis until available funds are committed.
- Applicants may contract qualified third-party consultants to provide communities with access to tools and resources to navigate the connectivity landscape, including best practices and shared learning.
- Written support from the local government body is required before an application will be considered for funding.
The program will allow communities to access third party funding to offset the cost of hiring a telecommunications consultant to assist with rural and remote community connectivity planning. The consultants will provide communities with access to tools and resources to navigate the connectivity landscape, including best practices and shared learning. Eligible project types and activities may include:
- Community engagement activities that guide the design and implementation of broadband projects.
- Relationship, partnership and coalition development to assist with connectivity expansion initiatives.
- Providing assistance to support applications to federal government connectivity programs.
- Research and reports that inform and support the design, build and operations of networks, including technical specifications, landing stations, and the preparation of engineer-stamped business cases, if required.
- Interpretation of regulatory decisions and advice on implications for community connectivity plans.
- The development of comprehensive business documents for telecommunications services such as business cases, value assessments, stakeholder plans, accountability matrixes, acquisition plans, governance plans and transition plans.
- Benchmarking studies and best practice reviews.
- Development of change management strategies and governance structures.
- Project management, coordination and development.
A Sample Regional Connectivity Infrastructure Strategy Framework Template is available as a guide for reference. The template is not a required document to be used by applicants to this program.
An approved connectivity infrastructure strategy development grant does not provide a guarantee of funding in subsequent applications submitted to the program.
Note: This funding is NOT for ‘Smart Cities’ projects.
- Municipal government or regional district established by BC legislation.
- Not-for-profit government organizations.
- First Nations or First Nations organizations – i.e. band council or a corporation controlled by a First Nation.
Individuals cannot apply to the program.
Eligible applicants can apply for up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $15,000 per project.
Please review and complete all program documents in detail as incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
Complete application forms with all required attachments should be provided electronically to Northern Development by email.
Please contact Northern Development staff to discuss your project in further detail.
Phone : (250) 561-2525