TEXADA ISLAND – Today CityWest announced the acquisition of Gillies Bay Internet Society (GBIS), an Internet service provider on Texada Island, through a partnership agreement to bring better connectivity to the community.
CityWest will take over the existing infrastructure that the GBIS had managed, providing copper and wireless Internet service to 250 homes and businesses on Texada Island.
The announcement also comes with an initial $150,000 investment from CityWest to upgrade the existing infrastructure in the community. CityWest will work with the leadership team from GBIS to determine how to best allocate the funds.
In the short term, GBIS customers can expect a smooth transition as CityWest takes over the network. Customers will not notice a change in their bills or their existing services.
For residents that are waiting on cable upgrades, CityWest is working with GBIS to mobilize an on-island team to perform outstanding work that has been requested, including service upgrades.
For residents outside the current GBIS footprint, CityWest will work to enhance services using a variety of technologies.
“We see Texada Island as a great opportunity to bring our company’s expertise to a community with massive potential for connectivity. We have been honoured to work together with the Gillies Bay Internet Society on a plan for better connectivity in their community.” – Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest
“CityWest will be able to provide GBIS with the funds, expertise, and technical experience to make full use of the Connected Coast’s backbone. This project, along with CityWest’s investment into our community, will bring better connectivity to Texada residents. GBIS has worked closely with CityWest on this partnership, and we are excited to see what their services can do for our community.” – Brian Seymour, Gillies Bay Internet Society.
About the Connected Coast project
The Connected Coast project is a joint venture between CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District. The $45.4 million project received funding from the government of Canada’s Connected to Innovate program ($22 million), Indigenous Services Canada ($12 million), and the Province of B.C. through the Connected British Columbia program ($11.4 million). When complete, the Connected Coast project will provide backbone communication services to 139 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.
When complete, the project will touch approximately 90,000 households in rural and remote communities around B.C., stretching 3,400 kilometres – about the distance from Vancouver to Ottawa. Laid in an environmentally-friendly manner on the ocean floor, it will be one of the longest coastal subsea networks in the world.