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Subsea fibre optic cable laying begins in the Strait of Georgia

Gabriola Island – The $45.4 million Connected Coast project begins construction in the Strait of Georgia this week. The subsea fibre optic cable lay process will begin on Gabriola Island and move north to Campbell River and the Discovery Islands over the next few weeks. Construction will also include 26 landing sites where the cable comes ashore. These sites will provide the necessary infrastructure for Internet Service Providers to connect businesses and households with high-speed internet.

“High-speed internet is essential to daily life in our increasingly digitized world, and people need access to it to participate and thrive in today’s economy,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “I’m excited for more people and business along the Salish Sea to benefit from the range of opportunities unlocked through high-speed connectivity in this region.”

Later this summer, the connection from Gabriola to the Vancouver internet exchange will occur and allow for network testing and light up of the high-speed internet.

Construction of the 3,400 km project began this past winter in the north near Prince Rupert and progressed down to Bella Coola. More than 600 km of cable has been laid along with 21 landing sites constructed in rural, remote and First Nation communities. An important project milestone took place earlier this month, when the fibre optic cable was laid across the Hecate Strait bringing a connection to Haida Gwaii,

“We are excited to see the construction momentum of the Connected Coast network. We look forward to bringing connectivity to rural and remote coastal communities allowing them the same digital opportunities as urban centres. High-speed internet will help re-invent our small communities and improve our ability to participate in education, e-commerce, and health programs” said Brad Unger, chair of the Strathcona Regional District.

Quick Facts

  • Of the $45.4 million invested in Connected Coast, $22 million will come from the Connect to Innovate program, a federal program to provide underserved communities with access to high-speed internet; $12 million from Indigenous Services Canada; and $11.4 million from the Province of British Columbia through the Connecting British Columbia program.
  • The subsea fibre-optic cable will run more than 3,400 kilometres along the coast of B.C. and it will be one of the longest coastal subsea networks in the world.
  • The fibre is protected to ensure it is not damaged and consists of glass strands approximately as thick as a strand of human hair.
  • When it’s operational, hundreds of gigabits of data will stream through the subsea fibre-optic cable every second.
  • The Connected Coast project is a joint venture between the Strathcona Regional District and CityWest.

 Learn More

Media Contact

Renée LaBoucane – SRD Manager, Strategic Initiatives
250-830-6711   |   rlaboucane@srd.ca

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