First Nations

Improving accessibility for First Nations is a key component of the Connected Coast project as many First Nation communities on Vancouver Island and along coastal BC, do not have access to adequate internet.

First Nations welcome and blessing at the Connected Coast construction launch by Shaun Decaire member of the We Wai Kai First Nation. Oct 29, 2021 – Campbell River, BC

Improving connectivity for First Nations is a key component of the Connected Coast project. Many First Nation communities on Vancouver Island and along coastal BC do not have access to adequate internet. The Connected Coast project will bridge the digital divide and assist communities to ensure they have the technology needed today and in the future to build economies, participate in e-learning, improve access to remote health care and connect with friends and family.  

The Connected Coast project is assisting 97 rural, remote and First Nation coastal communities with their connectivity challenges, by providing access to a large amount of data through the project’s subsea fibre backbone infrastructure.  

As part of its mandate, the Connected Coast project is meaningfully engaging with First Nation communities and consulting before and after construction, to make sure the needs of these communities’ are met now and in the years to come.  This engagement is underway with First Nations between Vancouver and Prince Rupert / Haida Gwaii and has begun with First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Through engagement, the project team is working with First Nations to share information about the project, confirm their interest in a community connection, determine the best routing for the cable, identify and mitigate potential impacts and facilitating last mile discussions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What First Nations Communities are eligible for a connection?
Forty-eight First Nation communities were identified as eligible for a connection. See Map for more info >.
  If your community is not listed but you are interested in finding out more, please contact our project team at

2. What is a last mile connection?
The Connected Coast project provides ‘backbone’ infrastructure only. It does not include last-mile connectivity for communities to connect to the high-speed infrastructure. Last-mile generally refers to running the cable from a landing site directly to homes and businesses, and providing internet service packages to the customer. The last-mile solution may be different in each community depending on their aspirations, resources and existing services. Internet Service Providers (ISP) that offer last-mile services will be able to connect directly to Connected Coast backbone infrastructure.

Network BC is the provincial agency tasked with improving connectivity across the province and are a helpful resource for communities and ISP’s seeking to connect to the Connected Coast backbone infrastructure. The Connected Coast project team will work with ISP’s, regional districts, and communities to keep them informed of important developments and initiatives to assist them in developing last-mile solutions.

3. When will the project be constructed in my community?
The project schedule and more information can be found here >. 

View more FAQ’s here>.

What are First Nations saying about the Connected Coast Project

“Developing last-mile connectivity solutions will be transformative for our communities because of the many benefits that modern fibre network solutions will bring with the capacity to meet our growing needs and provide more reliable service.” 

  • Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation 

  “The Connected Coast project is a game-changer for bridging the digital divide in remote areas. By bringing high-speed fibre optic internet to our communities, we’re not only empowering First Nations but also creating a ripple effect of opportunities for surrounding regions. This infrastructure will unlock new economic possibilities, improve access to education and healthcare, and foster innovation across the entire area. The long-term partnership ensures sustained benefits, generating revenues and opportunities that will directly impact the Gitga’at First Nation and its members, while also elevating the digital capabilities of neighboring communities. This project is a crucial step towards digital equity, ensuring that remote areas can fully participate in and contribute to the modern digital economy.” 

  • Joe Bevan, CEO of Gitga’at Development Corporation

Questions? We’re happy to help.