A 4.2 million dollar project to bring Fibre-to-the-home internet connectivity to the Bella Coola Valley is underway, with CityWest the Prince Rupert based communication company hailing their latest initiative with an information release on Friday.
“We are excited to start our fibre-optic build in the Bella Coola Valley. As a company that was built in rural B.C., we’re excited to bring advanced connectivity to another remote community. We’re thrilled to be in partnership with the Nuxalk Nation and to be collaborating with CCCS. Our partnership will ensure that the community has ownership in and a direct say in their connectivity needs for decades to come.” -- Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest.
In their notes, CityWest notes how the new network will provide world class urban style connectivity to residents and businesses in the Bella Coola Valley for decades to come.
The Bella Coola Valley fibre-optic build consists of two project phases.
The first phase will see construction in Bella Coola and 4 Mile, with the second phase continuing construction throughout the Bella Coola Valley into Hagensborg.
These projects are supported with up to $2.9 million in support from the Connecting British Columbia program, funded by the Province of B.C.
The communication project is a joint initiative with the Nuxalk nation which has created a new company, Snutl'yah Communications.
The company will provide last mile fibre-to-the-home services throughout the Nuxalk Territory in Bella Coola and 4 Mile.
This unique partnership structure will see the company re-invest a portion of its profits into the Nuxalk Nation, while also giving the Nation decision making influence at a board level within the new company.
The Nuxalk Nation have worked closely with CityWest to co-lead this project, providing each of their eligible community members with the opportunity to receive fibre-optic connectivity.
Joseph Nash, the Director of IT and Project Management at the Nuxalk Nation noted of the excitement for the community at the start of the work.
“The Nuxalk Nation is elated to co-lead this initiative to provide eligible community members with high-speed fibre-optic connectivity. Through the creation of a new partnership and company with CityWest we will achieve this goal.
High-speed connectivity will help drive the growth and flourishment of this community. We are excited to see what the future holds, the possibilities are endless! Due to its remote location, the community has been underserved with Internet for many years. We see this partnership as a way to link this community with the world, so we will no longer be experiencing the ill effects of the digital divide. As a result, we will experience a better quality of life in the place we call home.”
The advancement of the project was also hailed by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice as part of the Friday information release.
“It’s exciting to see last-mile internet connections being made in Bella Coola. This project, supported with provincial funds, will ensure homes in Bella Coola will have quick access to reliable high-speed Internet when the community is connected to Connected Coast later this summer,”
Once completed the the Bella Coola initiative will be tied into the Connected Coast project later this summer.
The full overview of the project and what residents of the Bella Coola Valley can expect can be reviewed here
Our past items of interest on the City of Prince Rupert owned communication company can be reviewed here
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