High definition television (HDTV) is coming to the residents of Lax Kw’alaams Cable subscribers.
On July 23, Lax Kw’alaams Cable and the band council announced work began to migrate their standard definition channels to HDTV. Part of their cable upgrade project involve repairs to the lines, replacements of old decoders to HDTV decoders and the installation of a new satellite dish.
They warned that some viewers would lose temporary access to their channels over the week because of the migration.
“These changes are not our choice but we are happy to embrace them as it will provide better viewing opportunities for our subscribers and allow us to become a viable and less costly alternative to Shaw and Bell Satellite TV,” Lax Kw’alaams Cable and the band council stated.
Subsea fibre optic cable from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert
CityWest and their counterpart in Alaska are partnering to build a subsea fibre-optic cable from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert.
In the past seven years, since the 2012 explosion of smart phones, wireless devices, and streaming services, KPU – the municipally owned telecommunications service in Ketchikan – has experienced a growing need to connect their network and community to the cloud via Seattle where they plug their network in.
“It’s just been explosive and that has created a bog down. Looking forward we know about 5G and the Internet Of Things, and that kind of activity is going to place incredible additional demand on our networks,” said Ed Cushing, division manager of KPU Telecommunications.
KPU will be the sole owner and operator of the cable which will land in CityWest’s facility in Prince Rupert.
The estimated cost is approximately $10 million with an undersea route of about 145-km, 75 of which will be on the Canadian side. Construction on the new cable is expected to begin in summer 2020.
Currently, they use a digital microwave – a digital radio system shooting signals to towers – from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert where CityWest then helps them get to Seattle. They pay “month-to-month” rent on their competitors’ existing undersea cable to connect to their network hub down south.
Cushing said the cable will also be beneficial to CityWest should the one fibre line between Prince Rupert to Prince George go down. He also added that KPU has no intention or ability to compete with CityWest’s services in Prince Rupert.
Public bids for city and PRPA work
The City of Prince Rupert put out a public bid for work to be done at the landfill quarry on Ridley Island Road.
Drilling, blasting, processing and stockpiling more than 200,000-m3 is required to complete development of the Prince Rupert Landfill Quarry.
The city’s total budget for the project is $100,000 plus GST. The request for a contractor was issued on Monday with a closing date of Aug. 21 for the service bid.
The city is also looking to update their antiquated water monitoring software. Their current communication system infrastructure uses modems but they are looking to replace it with a different system which requires two towers, fibre and supporting systems between those pieces of infrastructure.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority is looking for proposals from qualified consultants to update their Land Use Management Plan, a detailed plan that contains objectives and policies for the development of their property.
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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