CityWest and the Gitxaala Nation have formed a unique partnership to deliver improved Internet capabilities via a fiber-to-the-home network in Lach Klan (Kitkatla).
The partnership will see the creation of a new company, Gitxaala CityWest Communications Corp., which will operate the network. As part of the agreement, a share of the new company’s profits will be sent to the Gitxaala Nation, resulting in a direct financial benefit to community members.
“When the Connected Coast ship, CanPac Valour, made its appearance in the waters off Lach Klan in late January, it heralded a new area high-speed, fibre communication for Gitxaala,” said Linda Innes, Chief Councillor of Gitxaala Nation. “With the cable now brought to the community and this partnership with CityWest, we are ready to construct our own fibre-to-home network. Virtually every opportunity for growth in the future relies on a reliable digital network. With this new partnership, Gitxaala Nation continues along the path of taking our future in our own hands.”
Lach Klan is one of 139 communities that will be connected to the world through the Connected Coast network, an undersea cable project that will bring backbone bandwidth to rural and remote coastal communities along the BC coast, as well as around Vancouver Island. The Connected Coast project, funded by the federal and provincial governments, is co-managed by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District.
“The leadership at Gitxaala Nation have realized that a strong and reliable Internet connection, powered by a subsea fibre backbone, is the key to opening the door to countless opportunities for their community,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. “We’re very excited to work together, in partnership, with such a forward-thinking team. In the next few months we will be bringing individuals and businesses on Lach Klan the services that will enable the community to excel in today’s digital world.”
The partnership will yield results very soon. The first phase of construction for Internet services – building a “drop” from the road to the home – will be starting in the next few months. Further construction updates will be released as the project commences.