Connected Coast looking to build a back-up cable to Haida Gwaii

·1 min read

Connected Coast is considering a second, $5.8-million fibre-optic cable to Haida Gwaii to create broadband redundancy for the archipelago.

They are seeking support from municipal governments and First Nations to apply for a grant from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to cover the costs.

The Connected Coast project finished installing the first fibre-optic cable to Haida Gwaii between Bonilla Island and Tlell in July 2022. The islands also receive service through a microwave radio link with a capacity of 1.3 gigabytes per second, a memorandum from Connected Coast states. The second fibre optic cable would have a capacity of 100 gigabytes per second when it is built and would have the ability to increase if and when demand increased.

“There is no redundant solution with comparable bandwidth if the existing subsea cable is damaged and in the event of damage, critical services (including 911, emergency services and early earthquake warning) and overall user experience would be severely impacted,” the memorandum states.

In addition to redundancy for Haida Gwaii, this second fibre-optic cable would also give other communities on the North Coast a backup connection, including Kitkatla, Oona River, Lax Kw’alaams and Prince Rupert, a letter to communities from Lee Brain, vice president of community and stakeholder relations at CityWest states.

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