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CityWest offers telecommunication services to more communities in the Northwest

The telecommunications company struck a partnership with North Coast Regional District
Connected Coast, a project co-managed by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District, constructed shore infrastructure to connect to a subsea fibre optic cable in Tlell in December 2021.

CityWest is partnering with the North Coast Regional District (NCRD) to bring internet, telephone and TV to rural and remote communities in the Northwest that currently have poor services or none at all.

The NCRD will benefit from the partnership by receiving a portion of the profits to put back into community projects. However, upfront they have committed to help pay for a portion of the capital building costs through a gas tax transfer.

At this point the agreement includes plans for CityWest to deliver services to Daajing Giids, Masset, Tlell and Tow Hill on Haida Gwaii, as well as Dodge Cove and Oona River, closer to Prince Rupert, announced the NCRD Oct. 31.

While these are the only communities they have listed now, CityWest has committed to delivering their services to all communities in the NCRD.

“Isolated communities will benefit greatly from the urban-class connectivity CityWest is bringing. This partnership will improve the lives of our residents, while allowing them to learn online, work remotely, and access health services in today’s digital world,” Barry Pages, NCRD chair and former mayor of Masset stated.

CityWest is owned by the City of Prince Rupert and has been operating as a communications company for more than 100 years.

“This partnership with the NCRD will help us bring better connectivity to even more unserved and underserved communities in our backyard. As a company that was founded in Prince Rupert, it’s exciting for us to serve more communities in the area,” Stefan Woloszyn, chief executive officer of CityWest stated.

There are already a number of First Nations communities that have existing partnerships with CityWest and these active partnerships will not be part of the new agreement with the NCRD, the regional district stated.

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 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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