At least 23 First Nations still waiting for broadband Internet access in B.C.
Eighty-nine percent of First Nations in B.C.—or 180 of 203—are expected to have access to broadband Internet service by the 2012-13 fiscal year.
That forecast is contained in the service plan for the Ministry of Citizens' Services and Open Government, which was released last week as part of the B.C. Liberal government's 2013 pre-election budget. It would see 11 percent of First Nations (23) still waiting for high-speed Internet service by the end of the next fiscal year.
According to the service plan, 42 percent of First Nations (85) were connected to broadband Internet in 2007-08.
The government's latest targets would see 91 percent of First Nations (185) having broadband access by 2013-14, followed by 94 percent (190) by 2014-15 and 96 percent (195) by 2015-16.
"This performance measure demonstrates the level of success in facilitating First Nations access to broadband facilities by supporting the development of backhaul or transport infrastructure that allows service providers to connect homes, businesses and schools to the Internet," the service plan states.
While progress is being made, the B.C. government's targets for First Nations Internet connectivity have been lowered over the years.
In September 2009, the service plan update for the Ministry of Citizens' Services put the 2011-12 target at 94 percent of First Nations (190). That's now the target for 2014-15.
The 2014-15 target in the February 2012 service plan for the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government was 96 percent of First Nations (195).