Citywest Begins “dropping in” to Cortes Island and Announces Partnership Agreement With Twincomm

Jul 09, 2021

CityWest wishes to acknowledge they will be working and expanding services on the unceded traditional territory of the Klahoose First Nation.

For its entire 111-year history, CityWest has focused on expansion in Northern B.C., serving customers from Prince Rupert to Vanderhoof.

This month, the company will begin its first stages of expansion into the southern area of the province, beginning with Cortes Island. This expansion is to provide service to residents through the Connected Coast project. As part of this expansion, CityWest is launching its “Dropping In” campaign, encouraging Cortes residents to sign up to have fibre optic cable installed directly to their home. 

CityWest is also announcing an agreement-in-principle with Twincomm, a local Internet service provider headquartered on Cortes Island. One well-known resident who has grown Twincomm into what it is today is Constantinos (Dino) Tsakonas, who has been hired by CityWest as its Regional Manager for the area.

“For me, this feels like a homecoming of sorts,” said Dino. “I used to be a happy customer of the company, back when it was called CityTel and before I moved to Cortes Island, and I know how much of a value they put into customer service. There’s a great community on Cortes Island who deserve the very best fibre-to-the-home services, and I’m looking forward to working with the CityWest team to bring that here.”

Located in the Strait of Georgia between Campbell River and the Mainland, Cortes is the home of the Klahoose First Nation, and the residential areas  of Whaletown, Mansons Landing, and Seaford. All communities will one day be served by CityWest’s fibre-to-the-home services.

“Expanding south is the result of a lot of hard work by everyone in our company, as well as the strong support of our partners on Cortes Island,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. “We’re looking forward to beginning the journey with everyone to provide great Internet, TV, and phone services.”

For the first stage of expansion, CityWest will be going directly to the doors and mailboxes of residents on Cortes Island, to sign them up for their installation, and ask permission to bury a “drop” on their property. (A drop is the infrastructure that runs from the street to the customer premises). Once that is complete, customers on Cortes will have access to fibre-to-the-home services when the Connected Coast project brings bandwidth to the island. The drops are scheduled to be installed this October, and the Connected Coast will link to the island this December.

CityWest worked closely with Strathcona Regional District as a key partner to making this happen. “As a partner in the Connected Coast project, we are excited that Cortes Island is the first community to have fibre in the ground,” said David Leitch, CAO of Strathcona Regional District. “We are another step closer to improved connectivity for rural and remote coastal communities. Cortes Island residents will soon be ready to plug into the Connected Coast infrastructure and realize the benefits of reliable high speed internet.”   

The Province of B.C., through its Connecting British Columbia program, also announced its support of the project through a press release on March 26. To view that press release, please go here