Wednesday, March 14, 2018

CityWest receives more funding for fibre backbone into rural Northwest areas

A number of rural communities in Bulkley Nechako
will be connected to a fibre backbone after funding
was awarded to CityWest on Tuesday

Prince Rupert based CityWest was the recipient of 6 million dollars in combined federal and provincial funding yesterday, with the money to be put to use for for a new fibre backbone project along with a small last-mile component that will benefit 14 communities in northern British Columbia.

The project will bring improved Internet service to 6 Indigenous communities—and 19 institutions, with the small last-mile component of the project connecting 118 households.

The funding was part of a wide ranging roll out of government initiatives announced Tuesday by Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

The funding announcement of 6 million dollars from yesterday, with the Federal government picking up 4 million dollars of the tab, with the Province funding he remaining share.

The funding from Tuesday goes along with a previous 2 million dollars in funding for fibre work in the Houston area.

CityWest's project will provide backbone Internet services to communities in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Among the communities that will benefit from the fibre project are:

Broman Lake
Lake Babine
Nadleh Whuten
Sinkut River
Stellat’en First Nation
Tchesinkut Lake
Topley Landing
Wet’suwet’en Village

CityWest's CEO Chris Marett, made note of how the project will provide even more Northern BC residents with access to a faster and more reliable connection to the world.

"As a company that was built in the North, we know first hand the challenges that our customers face, which is why we invest heaving in many areas of the North to bring Internet to our under-served areas ... With this announcement, the governments of Canada and British Columbia have opened the door to allow even more residents and businesses in the North to access fast reliable internet"

Work on the Bulkley Valley fibre project is expected to start later this year with more detailed studies and engagement, the timeline for development is a three year period to completion withCityWest making use of a phased construction schedule.

You can review the Federal/Provincial Announcement here, while the view from CityWest that outlines the project can be examined here.

Yesterday's announcement is just the latest in what has been a string of funding announcements for expanded Internet connectivity, earlier this year CityWest was awarded funding for the development of a Fibre backbone to connect Prince Rupert with the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and HaidaGwaii.

That project is designed to provide much desired redundancy for CityWest's services across Northwest British Columbia. The CityWest CEO highlighted those projects as another example of how the company is expanding its reach in the Northwest.

“Alongside the recently-announced undersea fibre-optic network, which will run from Prince Rupert to Vancouver Island, this is yet another example of CityWest expanding its network beyond its current footprint in its mission to provide a superior customer experience,”

For more items of interest about the Prince Rupert communication company see our archive page here.

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