Internet connectivity in the Meadowbrook area and rural Kimberley is getting a $120,000 boost from the RDEK, as they look to improve internet service in the area.

Approving the $120,000 grant from the Community Works Fund, the money is being allocated to the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation for implementation of high-speed internet.

“What we’d like to do is put a cable from Meadowbrook to Wasa and then the folks along that way would be able to get higher-speed broadband,” said Rob Gay, RDEK Board Chair.

The Community Works Fund is taxpayer dollars collected into a central pool from across the RDEK that can then be distributed back to areas of need for infrastructure projects or improvements.

Gay told MyEastKootenayNow.com that they have attempted to work alongside local internet providers and the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation to provide better high-speed internet to rural residents and small urban communities and that this recent $120,000 will definitely provide that option for residents in rural Kimberley, and specifically in Meadowbrook.

“We provide funding, but we don’t install it, so they’ll do the installation (Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation) and then the smaller internet companies could use that cable to hook up and serve their clients so it’s all trying to get affordable high-speed to the residents that want it.”

Rural internet connectivity is a widespread issue across Canada, as the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) is providing $750 million in federal funds for similar projects in 2020.

“There’s a lot of people applying, the pressure on that money is fairly high so what we find is if we can be a financial partner as well as a supporting partner by a letter, we improve our chances,” Gay told MyEastKootenayNow.com.

Last year, the RDEK made numerous applications to the $500 million pool of funds from the CRTC but were denied, along with many others as more than $2 billion worth of grant applications were made to the CRTC.