DENMAN ISLAND – It’s exciting times as CityWest officially kicks off its fibre-to-the-home construction project, beginning on Denman Island, with Hornby Island to follow.
This week, construction crews will begin building this state-of-the-art and future proof underground fibre-optic network, which will provide world class urban style connectivity for decades to come.
The $7.6 million last-mile project is done in partnership between CityWest, the B.C. Government, and the Comox Valley Regional District. Last November Denman and Hornby Islands strongly supported the partnership with 94% of residents voting in favor of this initiative. The partnership will see a portion of the profits from Internet, TV, and phone services go directly back into the Comox Valley Regional District for grants and other forms of assistance that benefit residents and community organizations. In addition, the partnership structure will result in the community having a direct say in the level and types of services they will receive going forwards.
"The Comox Valley Regional District is thrilled about this partnership agreement with CityWest," said Daniel Arbour, Area Director for the CVRD. "Not only will residents on Denman and Hornby Islands get faster, more reliable Internet services, but will also see a direct financial benefit for our communities. After many months of planning, it's exciting to see this project's construction phase begin."
The B.C. Government supported this project with a $5.6 million grant through the Connecting British Columbia program.
“The communities of Denman and Hornby Island are home to many small- and medium-sized internet-based businesses, which have struggled with access to reliable, consistent high-speed internet,” said MLA for Mid-Island Pacific Rim Josie Osborne. “Milestones such as this one reinforce the importance of digital equality, meaning that every person, regardless of where they live in the province, should have the tools they need to succeed in today’s economy.”
“We are very excited about this project because it’s more than a partnership – it’s an opportunity for the communities of Denman and Hornby Island to own their connectivity destiny for many years into the future,” said Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. “As a company that was built in rural B.C., we’re proud to have this opportunity to serve you with the connectivity solutions you have been asking for.”
After construction is complete, the fibre-optic infrastructure on the islands will be tied into the Connected Coast network, a joint partnership operated by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District, and financed by the federal and provincial governments. The Connected Coast will provide backbone communication services to the islands, as well as 137 other rural and remote communities, including 48 Indigenous communities – representing 44 First Nations – along the BC Coast from Prince Rupert, to Haida Gwaii, south to Vancouver, and around Vancouver Island.
Any resident who has not yet had the opportunity to sign-up for a fibre drop to your home, are encouraged to do so before crews get to your neighborhood. The cost is free and there is no obligation to sign-up for service. However, once construction crews leave the area, the cost of a drop is shifted to the homeowner. Sign-ups for the free drops can be found at https://www.citywest.ca/dropping-in.