Improved Internet service coming to Haida Gwaii and Granisle

April 27, 2015

Residents on Haida Gwaii and in Granisle will soon enjoy more reliable Internet service.

In April, Northern Development’s board of directors approved $198,683 in funding to support telecommunications upgrades in both areas, which will allow for service improvement, savings and growth on Haida Gwaii and improve speeds for Granisle Internet users. The funding approvals break down as follows:

• $161,000 approved for GwaiiTel society to support the purchase of a second radio set in Old Masset and a system wide caching server for Haida Gwaii
• $137,683 approved for the Village of Granisle to support a new fibre optic connection for residents

Both projects were approved through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides up to $250,000 in funding for capital projects that significantly strengthen the local economy. Since 2006, GwaiiTel, a non-profit society, has combined the purchasing power of seven communities to lower the costs of bringing broadband Internet to Haida Gwaii.

Internet service to all of Haida Gwaii is currently totally dependent on a single set of radios located on top of Prince Rupert’s Mount Hays. The second set of radios would double the available bandwidth and provide a fail-safe to ensure more reliable and consistent coverage for users on the islands. The fibre optic connection in Granisle, meantime, would provide a reliable 5Mb/second connection for more than 200 homes and businesses in the area.


“High speed Internet access is imperative in today’s digital world. These upgrades will link residents to online services, supporting economic opportunities, trade and business and job creation in Granisle and Haida Gwaii,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development.

“The Internet has become essential infrastructure for economic development. It is part of our business, social, medical and recreational life. Northern Development has enabled GwaiiTel’s network to continue to grow and to enhance its resiliency and reliability,” said Carol Kulesha, Chair, GwaiiTel.

“Granisle is extremely excited by the news our efforts have been rewarded in moving our community forward in an ever changing technical world. It is imperative, especially, in small, rural communities to ensure we are connected with our continuous efforts to promote economic development, tourism and job creation,” said Village of Granisle Mayor Linda McGuire.

Quick Facts:

• Since 2005, Northern Development has approved more than $125 million for more than 1,500 economic development projects throughout central and northern B.C.
• That funding has been used to leverage $1.2 billion in new investment in the region
• The $161,000 approved for Haida Gwaii will support the purchase of a second radio set in Old Masset and a system wide caching server
• The $137,683 approved for Granisle will be used to support a new fibre optic connection for residents


Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development