Rocky terrain on Cortes Island delays fiber optic network build

A beige colored electrical box sits next to a pole on a beach.
CityWest landing site ready to connect with undersea fiber optic cable on Cortes Island. Photo by Greg Osoba.
Greg Osoba - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 16-01-2023
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CityWest regional manager for Cortes Island Dino Tsakonas says he originally hoped for fiber optic service to be available this month, but rocky terrain has stalled progress on constructing the network. He now expects service to begin sometime this spring.

A blue, green and white sandwich board announces construction.

A CityWest construction sign sits outside a Cortes Island business. Photo by Greg Osoba.

CityWest, a telecommunications company based on the B.C. coast, is part of the $45 million Connected Coast project, funded by the federal and provincial governments as well as the Strathcona Regional District.

The company began work on Cortes Island in January 2022. Tsakonas says the first communities to receive service will be Mansons Landing, Seaford and Squirrel Cove, followed by Whaletown months later.

Tsakonas says that once service becomes available, internet speeds will jump from the current eight to ten megabytes per second download speed to up 100 megabytes per second, a tenfold increase. He adds that all the landing sites, where undersea fiber cable connects with on land hubs, has been completed.

CityWest crews will return to Cortes Island within the next month to finish construction of the network.

He gives more details in the interview below with CKTZ News: