Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CityWest announces 10 million dollar investment in fibre infrastructure set for Prince Rupert

With a number of CityWest employees
standing in the background
CEO Chris Marrett outlined a
10 million dollar investment in
Prince Rupert on Tuesday
The future is fibre and for CityWest the future also involves a complete rebuild of the backbone of its communication services in its home base of Prince Rupert.

A major announcement by the City of Prince Rupert owned company was held in the CityWest offices on Tuesday, as CEO Chris Marrett outlined the ambitious 10 million dollar project that will put Prince Rupert's communication system in a strong position to face the demand that will come in the future.

Standing in front of a collection of CityWest employees, Mr. Marrett provided some of the key elements of the project which is expected to start later this year and will build on the existing network that now extends from Prince Rupert to Vancouver and on to Seattle.

"CityWest started in Prince Rupert, and with this investment, we're showing that we're committed to being a part of Prince Rupert's future ... Those builds have been successful because of our amazing employees, they've got the experience to undertake the build in Prince Rupert, and they know the most important thing for us is to exceed our customers' expectations. They'll be able to carry over the lessons learned in our prior builds to improve the experience for Rupertites"

The prior builds that the CityWest CEO was referring to were part of the CityWest expansion plan to the east, and that investment in communities such as Houston, Smithers, Terrace was hailed as projects which made yesterday's multi-million dollar Prince Rupert expansion possible.

When it comes to the Prince Rupert fibre to home project it was left to CityWest Vice President Bart Kuntz , the Outside Plant manager who will oversee the project to outline how the project will evolve once it launches in the months to come.

"When you're doing a fibre over-build, you start from the outside of town and word towards the centre ... within a few years we'll have finished the build, which will improve our  customer's experience with us."

As part of Tuesday's announcement CityWest noted that it would be working from the eastern and western edges of the city and progressing towards the centre and downtown core. With the new system looking to provide the new service to its customers by the start of 2018.

In the final moments of the event, Mr. Marrett received a few questions from the audience,  and from them he explained that while residents won't see many changes in CityWest service levels over the short term, noting that as the project moves forward towards completion the system will be ready to deliver more services in the future, including faster internet speeds and services that come through the Internet.

"We're making the investment now, so we can prepare for the demand that will come in the future. In order for our customers to continue getting a great experience from us, we need to invest in fibre-to-home." -- CityWest CEO Chris Marrett on building for the future in Prince Rupert

You can review the full announcement ceremony from the CityWest Facebook page

Fibre 101 (All you need to know about Fibre to Home)

What is fibre?

Short for fibre-optic cable, it’s thin flexible fibers of glass that transmit light signals, used for transmitting data. Fibre carries more data at higher speeds over long distances than any other technology.

What is fibre-to-the-home (FTTH)?

FTTH is the final step of bringing fiber-optic technology closer to our customers. We currently have fibre in our network, but the “last mile” is used by other technologies. When completed, our FTTH network will connect directly to all residents and businesses in Prince Rupert.

What can fibre do?

Fiber carries more data at higher speeds over long distances than other services. Fiber is capable of delivering all three services through one connection, through wireline or wireless methods.

Where else is FTTH available?

In Canada it was first deployed into major cities and is now heading into more rural areas. In Northern B.C., CityWest has FTTH services available to our Bulkley Valley customers, and in certain areas of Terrace & Kitimat.

What’s the difference between fibre and other technologies?

Fibre is a new, leading-edge technology that can carry much higher bandwidths and are capable of transmitting data at higher speeds than other technologies

The CityWest CEO also took advantage of the gathering on Tuesday to celebrate the achievements of two students from Charles Hays Secondary School, noting that Chelsea Mitchell and Christian Nguyen had been awarded scholarships for further study through the company's scholarship program.

For more items related to CityWest as well as Communications on the North Coast see our archive page here.

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