CityWest continues to expand south of Prince Rupert

CityWest is expanding its reach southward to houses and businesses on Texada Island.

The City of Prince Rupert-owned telecommunications company announced the acquisition of Gillies Bay Internet Society, which currently services Texada Island, in a press release on Oct. 26.

They will be using the existing infrastructure to offer internet to 250 customers on the island. However, they stated that they will be spending $150,000 on infrastructure upgrades as an initial investment.

“We see Texada Island as a great opportunity to bring our company’s expertise to a community with massive potential for connectivity,” Stefan Woloszyn, chief executive officer of CityWest said.

Texada Island is part of the Connected Coast project, an effort to bring and improve access to high-speed internet in 139 remote and rural communities. The $45.4 million project is a collaboration between CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District.

When Connected Coast is finished, a fibre optic cable will run along the bottom of the ocean from Vancouver up the coast as far north as Lax Kw’alaams. The cable will circle Vancouver Island and reach communities on Haida Gwaii.

“CityWest will be able to provide Gillies Bay Internet Society with the funds, expertise, and technical experience to make full use of the Connected Coast’s backbone. This project, along with CityWest’s investment into our community, will bring better connectivity to Texada residents. Gillies Bay Internet Society has worked closely with CityWest on this partnership, and we are excited to see what their services can do for our community,” Brian Seymour, chairman of Gillies Bay Internet Society stated.

CityWest is continually expanding to serve new communities and regions. In 2021 it broadened its reach west to Haida Gwaii, east to Kitwanga and Fraser Lake and south to Denman and Hornby Islands as well as Bamfield on Vancouver Island.

With files from Norman Galimski

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View