The Strathcona Regional District is moving forward with its Connected Coast project, announcing a new joint venture agreement with a Northern B.C. telecommunications company.
CityWest has joined the project, in a move that was approved at the September SRD board meeting. The company’s telecommunication experience will help deliver broadband infrastructure to the region.
“Given the scope, complexity and magnitude of the Connected Coast project, the SRD is thrilled to proceed with the project through this joint partnership,” said SRD chief administrative officer Dave Leitch. “The excitement around the region for the project is building, especially during this pandemic as people are realizing the need and how life-changing improved connectivity can be for our rural and remote communities.”
The project’s goal is to bring reliable high-speed internet to rural and remote communities along the B.C. coast and Haida Gwaii. The plan is to build an operate a subsea fibre optic network that will run from north of Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii and then south along the coast to Vancouver. It will then run around Vancouver Island.
It will affect 159 communities in the area, including 51 Indigenous communities.
“This partnership with SRD will ultimately help people in under served communities along the coast,” said CityWest CEO Stefan Woloszyn. “We’ve worked very closely over the past two years on this project, and we’re looking forward to seeing some tangible results soon.”
CityWest has been working with the SRD to determine the details of the project, but that was slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has been refreshed and is now moving forward with community engagement, permitting and detailed design.
Future announcements around the project will be made on the project’s website at connectedcoast.ca.