Lax Kw’alaams is the first community to connect to the internet through the Connected Coast subsea fibre optic cable, CityWest announced on June 10.
“This is a tremendous milestone in the Connected Coast project with Lax Kw’alaams becoming the first community to receive internet services,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, said.
“High-speed connectivity is critical in remote communities for people to work, learn, access health care and emergency services, and allows businesses to participate in the local and global economy,” she said.
Chief Administrative Officer for Lax Kw’alaams band, Ted Adnitt, explained connectivity has always been an issue for the remote community and others like it.
“The infrastructure provided by the Connected Coast project, along with CityWest’s network, will bring faster, more reliable services to our community.”
CityWest started transitioning customers over to their network on June 7 and has been helping anyone who had trouble with the new equipment throughout the week, Ray Ryan, CityWest spokesperson said.
CityWest partnered with Lax Kw’alaams to create a new company, CityWest LKB Communications Corp.
In this new agreement the telecommunications company has taken over the band’s current infrastructure and became the sole internet provider in Lax Kw’alaams.
The band will benefit from the agreement by receiving a portion of the profits earned through their services.
The infrastructure in town is connected to a fibre optic cable laid in January along the ocean floor from Prince Rupert to the community.
Lax Kw’alaams will be the first community to try out CityWest’s new TV streaming platform. It is expected to become available in the next few weeks and will offer flexible viewing options and additional HD channels.
CityWest also plans to be able to offer Lax Kw’alaams phone services later this year.
“This is an exciting day as we witness the first of 139 communities along the Connected Coast receive services. The tangible benefits of this project are now being seen after years of hard work from the project’s stakeholders,” Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest, said. “We are honoured to partner with the Lax Kw’alaams band to deliver last-mile services, and we would like to express our thanks to the Province of B.C., the Federal Government, and Indigenous Services Canada for making the Connected Coast project happen.”
The $45.4 million Connected Coast project will provide communication services to 139 rural and remote communities.
“This is a tremendous milestone in the Connected Coast project with Lax Kw’alaams becoming the first community to receive internet services,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “High-speed connectivity is critical in remote communities for people to work, learn, access health care and emergency services, and allows businesses to participate in the local and global economy.”
Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View