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Connected Coast Project

Improving high-speed internet accessibility to remote areas.

About

The Connected Coast project, a joint venture between the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) and CityWest, will bring high-speed fibre-optic Internet accessibility to 139 rural, remote and First Nation coastal communities to  along the BC coast from north of Prince Rupert, to Haida Gwaii, south to Vancouver, and around Vancouver Island.

The impact of the project and the opportunities it will provide to these communities will be enormous. Access to reliable high-speed internet service means that residents will be able to access online learning and health services, emergency notifications, news and participate in online discussions and sharing. It will also open new economic development opportunities for residents who will be able to work remotely and participate on e-commerce and online business development.

High Speed Internet Arrives Soon to SRD Communities

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) and partner CityWest, a rural and small community telecommunication specialist, has secured financing and in some communities has been awarded grant funding to build the last mile infrastructure necessary to get the fibre from the Connected Coast landing sites to homes and businesses in the Strathcona Regional District.

CityWest will bring urban-quality and reliable Internet, phone and television services to SRD residents. Their high-speed Internet, TV and phone services will be delivered through the communities of Quadra Island, Cortes Island, Tahsis, Gold River, Zeballos, Ehattesaht First Nation, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nations, Walters Cove, Sayward Valley and Sayward, by connecting directly to the Connected Coast undersea fibre optic project.

Partnerships and funding for other First Nation neighbourhoods located in the SRD will also be pursued.

The subsea fibre optic link will run directly from the shore landing to homes and businesses ensuring residents a reliable, fast connection.

Within the Strathcona Regional District, construction of the last mile infrastructure to homes will begin in the summer of 2022 and the Connected Coast Network subsea cable landing installation is  anticipated for 2022-2023.


Project Partners

The Connected Coast project will be managed and implemented by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). The two organizations initially submitted individual projects but realized improved services for both areas could be attained by connecting the two networks. By providing links from Northern BC, and around Vancouver Island to the internet exchange in Vancouver, the infrastructure will increase service reliability for residents on the mainland, on the island and in rural and remote coastal communities by providing an alternate route for service, known as a redundancy.

The SRD and CityWest will work to engage and consult with local communities, regional districts, First Nations and local internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure the project meets the needs of communities now and in the future. The SRD and CityWest will also work with local ISPs, communities and anchor institutions that are interested in upgrading their local networks to allow for last-mile connections to the infrastructure.


Project Funding

Overall, the Connected Coast project will cost an estimated $45.4 million to provide 159 landing sites. The SRD will receive $32.5 million and CityWest will receive $12.9 million to construct the required high-speed infrastructure along the BC coast from north of Prince Rupert, to Haida Gwaii, south to Vancouver, and around Vancouver Island.  Funding for the project is provided by the Government of Canada’s Connect to Innovate (CTI) program, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Province of BC through the Connecting British Columbia program administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.

The Strathcona Connected Coast Network Corporation has been created as a wholly owned subsidiary to oversee the construction and maintenance of the SRD portion of the project.


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