Connected Communities Tap Into Opportunities
Communities newly connected to the Internet through the Pathways to Technology project are tapping into new economic, social and educational opportunities. The community of Iskut was among the first locations to be connected under the Pathways project, through a contract with NorthwesTel in early 2010. Since then, more than a dozen communities have been brought online and are now enjoying the benefits of reliable, high-speed Internet.
Several more remote northwest communities are currently in an active stage of development. Residents of Telegraph Creek are expected to be connected by fall 2011. Community Health Centres in Iskut and Telegraph Creek will also receive enhanced connectivity at this time.
"The Pathways to Technology project will give people living in rural First Nation communities access to 21st century technology that other British Columbians take for granted,” said Ruth Williams, CEO of All Nations Trust Company which is managing the Pathways initiative.
"The project will connect community health centres to telehealth to give residents remote access to medical specialists. The project will open up educational opportunities for youth and give Aboriginal entrepreneurs access to the tools they need to market themselves around the world.”
Work is also ramping up in the northeast part of the province. Doig River will be the first community connected under a multi-year contract the Pathways Project has signed with TELUS. From there, the Pathways web of Internet connections will extend to other communities in the area.
planning and preparation is also underway in Canim Lake, Homalko, Whispering
Pines, Alexandria, Mount Currie, Williams Lake and Ashcroft. It is expected that
most of these communities will be online by the end of 2011.