High-speed internet takes Merritt-area First Nation out of 'stone age'

Band gets high-speed link

More than 120 households in a First Nations community near Merritt now have access to high-speed internet services.

The installation of new infrastructure in the Coldwater 1 community will allow for high-speed broadband internet speeds of more than 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads.

“Building a stronger, more sustainable economy begins with empowering rural, remote and Indigenous communities with better access to the digital world,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.'s minister of citizens’ services.

“We are committed to connecting every rural, remote and Indigenous community by 2027 to ensure the benefits of high-speed internet access are shared by everyone in B.C.”

The province has invested approximately $185,000 along with a $173,000 investment by Telus Communications Inc.

"I am happy that Telus was able to bring high-speed internet to Coldwater. It feels like we are catching up with the world around us,” said Kristopher Oppenheim, the Coldwater Indian Band’s lands, wills and estates administrator.

“Our members can now have stable internet services. We are no longer in the stone age.”

In March of 2022, the province partnered with the federal government to provide as much as $830 million to expand high-speed internet services to connect all rural and First Nations households in the province by 2027.

“The completion of this project will provide more residents with the connectivity they need to access the digital economy, start on new education pathways, open new connections to mental and physical health services, and improve connection to those who matter most to them,” said Roly Russell, parliamentary secretary for rural development.

More Kamloops News