Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ketchikan defers sub sea fibre optic link to Prince Rupert until next year

A plan to link up Ketchikan's Public Utilities Telecommunications with the rest of North America by way of a sub sea fibre link will have to wait, as the Ketchikan council decided to cancel a current Request for Proposals.

The decision made in mid November noted that the required permits had not been provided yet for the project and with proper financing for the project not as of yet secured, the Ketchikan Council decided that they would not be able to award a contract at the early January date previously suggested.

In a report to the Ketchikan council the KPU Telecommunications Division Manger noted that the scope of the project carried a financial risk without the approvals and proper funding in place.

As a practical matter, there is material financial risk to KPU in signing a contract of this magnitude without funding and permits in-hand (for example, a contractor must order the undersea cable from the manufacturer in January, and then commit to mobilizing specialized work-crews and vessels - creating financial risk and exposure for both and contractor and KPU if financing and/or permits are not in-hand in time for construction to proceed).

Three bids had been received for the proposed project.

The report on the Ketchikan plans can be reviewed from the City Council agenda from their mid November meeing.

Ketchikan officials will be looking at putting the project out for bid later in 2019 once they have their financing and permitting process in a more positive state.

Prince Rupert's CityWest is currently involved with its own SubSea Fibre link project, designed to link the North Coast with Haida Gwaii, Coastal British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

So far there has been few updates on the progress of the SubSea fibre link project, the last note of interest posted to the Connected Coast website coming back in June of this year, when Strathcona Regional District outlined the status of its plans for Northern Vancouver Island.

A look at the Schedule page would seem to suggest that the Connected Coast project is still in the Project Scoping phase of its development.

For more items of note related to CityWest see our archive page here.

Notes on Municipal governance in Ketchikan can be reviewed on our archive page here.

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