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 BC. Applications that are able to demonstrate the ability to support the target of 50/10 Mbps are highly preferred.
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.
The program intake is to provide funding for last-mile projects to ensure that infrastructure investments are, to the extent possible, coordinated, and 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.
- Funding applications for transport (backbone) infrastructure will have an intake beginning on September 1, 2018, subject to available funding. A separate program guide will be provided at that time.
- It is anticipated that some projects will have both last-mile and transport components. Applicant should reference the respective program guides for each component and submit applications on or after September 1, 2018.
- It is highly recommended that proposals are in support of regional connectivity strategies that enable outcomes that are a priority for the local government or Indigenous community benefiting from the investment.
- Written support from the local government body is required before an application will be considered for funding.
Eligible funding categories for Last-Mile Infrastructure Builds are outlined below:
- Solutions that deliver 50/10 Mbps using Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP), coaxial cable and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technologies are strongly preferred.
- Proposed LTE solutions that share spectrum and infrastructure, also used for cellular services provided to the community, are not eligible.
- Last-mile infrastructure includes all equipment and materials required to connect households, businesses and institutions to the nearest suitable point-of-presence (PoP). Customer premise equipment is eligible for fibre and cable last-mile builds only.
- For last-mile applications targeting partially served communities to be considered, the applicant must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the specific area targeted by the proposed project does not have access to a minimum of 50/10 Mbps.
- Proposals that provide new or improved coverage where an existing internet service provider does not already operate will be preferred.
- Proposals will be required to demonstrate that 50/10 Mbps internet services will be made available to customers at a price comparable to similar services in large urban cities.
- Collaboration between applicants and existing internet service providers for the same service area is highly recommended.
Examples of eligible applicants include:
- Local, regional or national internet service provider.
- Municipal government or regional district established by BC legislation.
- Unincorporated area whose application is submitted through a regional district or a not-for-profit organization.
- First Nations or First Nations organizations – i.e., band council or a corporation controlled by a First Nation.
- Registered not-for-profit corporations, not for profit co-operatives or societies, registered and active in B.C.
Individuals cannot apply to the program.
Applicants or parties of the contractual agreement used for this submission must agree to own, operate, and maintain the resulting network as a condition to obtain the funds.
The goal of the program is to improve last-mile connectivity in underserved rural communities across BC. Communities eligible for funding are identified in the Communities and Network Capacity Template.
Proposals will be eligible for up to 50% contribution of eligible costs.
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