CityWest receives $4.6 million to connect Vancouver Island communities

CityWest is connecting seven more communities to its high-speed internet services after receiving an infusion of $4.6 million from the provincial and federal governments.

“Providing the same level of access, quality and opportunities in communities across British Columbia is vital,” Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services said. “Reliable, high-speed internet access for rural, remote and Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will further bridge the digital divide and bring British Columbia closer to connecting every community in B.C. with high-speed internet access by 2027.”

The funding will be used for CityWest to build infrastructure to provide these Vancouver Island communities with a new network, termed last-mile connections.

Telegraph Cove, Holberg, Kyuquot and Winter Harbour on northern Vancouver Island as well as the communities of Van Anda on Texada Island, Galiano Island and Saturna Island are part of the project.

The last-mile connections link individual homes to a sub sea fibre optic cable being built as part of the Connected Coast project.

In total, the $45.4 million Connected Coast project will provide communication services to 139 rural and remote communities along B.C.’s coast from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, down the coast and around Vancouver Island.

CityWest, owned by the City of Prince Rupert, is co-managing the Connected Coast project along with Strathcona Regional District.

The utility company recently struck a separate deal with the North Coast Regional District, agreeing to provide service to all of the communities in the district.

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