Rogers for Business has expanded its network to more rural communities in B.C., leveraging financial support from the provincially funded Connecting British Columbia program, administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust, to provide broadband services to underserved Indigenous, remote and rural communities.
In April 2020, Northern Development Initiative Trust launched the provincially funded COVID-19 Response Intake, a program that provides grants to quickly boost community connectivity.
Twenty-nine existing cellular towers have been upgraded by Rogers to provide additional cellular coverage as well as broadband services to 52 communities throughout B.C. in the Okanagan, Cariboo, Central and Northern B.C. and on Vancouver Island.
Rogers for Business is leveraging Fixed Wireless Access technology in support of businesses and communities across Canada, which utilizes cellular towers to deliver wireless broadband services where fibre is difficult to lay and maintain. As technology continues to evolve, new ways to provide connectivity to underserved communities is emerging, making it easier to reach areas that were traditionally not easily assessible.
“It is important, now more than ever, for British Columbians and B.C. businesses to have access to high-speed Internet, no matter where they live and work,” said Rick Sellers, President of B.C. Region, Rogers Communications. “Rogers is committed to partnering with all orders of government to find the right solutions to connect more communities.”
Canada’s vast geography means it is challenging and costly to connect many rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Partnering with the government provides much needed funding to expand connectivity to more underserved communities and funding programs such as the Connecting British Columbia program encourage a coordinated approach between the public and private sectors.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of connectivity in B.C.’s rural, remote and Indigenous communities. It’s fundamental to the way we live and work today, whether it’s keeping in touch with loved ones or working and learning remotely,” said Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare. “We’re committed to working with service providers like Rogers to close the digital divide and ensure people have the high-speed internet access they need. These investments also help position B.C. for success as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and emerge stronger than ever.”
Rogers has invested over $30 billion over the past 35 years to build Canada’s most trusted and reliable wireless network1. In 2020, the company was awarded the best wireless network in Canada for the second year in a row by umlaut, the global leader in mobile network testing and benchmarking. Rogers is also ranked number one in the West and Ontario in the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Wireless Network Quality Study. A recent 2020 Ookla Speedtest report found Rogers wireless network delivers the most consistent speeds of any national wireless network in Canada.
A PwC study commissioned by the company indicates that in 2019 Rogers investments and operations resulted in a total economic footprint in British Columbia of $1.7 billion of output including over 5,500 full-time jobs generated and supported. In 2020, Rogers announced that it will bring 350 new jobs into the local economy by 2021 through its B.C. customer solution centre in Kelowna.