04/03/2013 11:21 EDT | Updated 06/03/2013 05:12 EDT

Broadband internet access comes to Lil'wat Nation

Hundreds of Lil'wat Nation residents are getting something they've been waiting years for — broadband, high-speed internet.

Until today, the 900 residents of the Lil'wat Nation, about 120 kilometres northeast of Vancouver near Mount Currie, have only been able to access the internet using an expensive satellite dial-up.

“It was like living in the dinosaur age, very difficult,” said Chief Lucinda Phillips. “I personally had the dial-up and it took me almost half an hour to get on the internet.”

The Assembly of First Nations says almost half of First Nation households in Canada do not have an internet connection.

Phillips spent years pushing the federal and provincial governments to help cover the cost of bringing broadband to her community.

“You know, some of the road blocks that we had to go through were always the financial costs of doing this.”

Phillips encourages other First Nations to find ways to bring broadband access to their communities.

“It's just going to bring so much more to my community even with regards to our culture and our language, never mind the education and health opportunities,” she said.

“Anyone that's trying to do this — do not give up.”

With the help of a $40-million fund, the province hopes to have high-speed internet in 195 of its 203 First Nation communities by 2015.