Twincom

Twincomm partnering with CityWest & other internet news

Twincomm is partnering with CityWest, in their work towards bringing fibre optic to Cortes Island and the surrounding communities. They have signed an agreement in principle.  

Illustration credit: Internet by x61.sh via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Management changes at Twincomm

In a press release, issued yesterday, Twincomm stated, “with CityWest may be the best possible solution for Twincomm, our customers, and our team having the support and services CityWest has to offer.  Their experience in smaller, remote communities in northern BC, including the west coast, and their aligning mission and values will be an asset to the communities Twincomm currently serves.”   

Over the years, Twincomm’s customer base has expanded from Cortes Island, west to Quadra Island, east to Lund, as far south as Texada Island and the island communities in between. 

After 18 years with Twincomm, Dino Tsakonas has left the company and, as of Monday, June 28, works for City West.

Colleen Dragseth is now the General Manager.  

Everything else remains much the same. 

Twincomm will continue to provide the people within its service area internet connection and tech support. 

Their rates actually improved in 2021 and Twincomm doesn’t foresee any upcoming changes. 

Twincomm - former General Manager

Twincomm’s General Manager Dino Tsakonas (with the company 2003 to June 2021) has moved on to CityWest – photo courtesy Twincomm

Funding the Last mile

The Cortes Island communities of Squirrel CoveMansons LandingSeaford and the part of Whaletown stretching north from Gorge Harbour, have been approved for the last mile funding that will bring high speed internet directly into people’s homes. 

So will Bold PointGranite Bay and Open Bay on Quadra Island and the village of Zeballos.

This phase of the project is expected to complete this Fall. 

Twincomm's new General Manager
Twincomm’s new General Manager, Colleen Dragseth (with the company since 2005) – courtesy Twincomm

SRD’s ‘served’ communities

The southern part of Quadra Island, Gold River, Tahsis, and Sayward did not qualify because TELUS reported their internet speed was already 50 megabits per second when downloading and 10 megabits per second uploading. 

A survey is underway to see if the statistics TELUS reported were accurate. 

According to the SRD’s CAO David Leitch, “The real impetus of the study is what happened in the SRD. So I am confident the province is well aware of it. We are on the top of the list for certain.” 

However no resolution is expected before this fall. 

Gold River

At the SRD’s May 10 Board meeting, Gold River Mayor Chair Brad Unger said, “We didn’t get any funding because, as far as they were concerned, we were a served community of 50/10. Well, we know that’s not true – just by the speed tests we sent.”   

Quadra Island

None of the 200 homes tested on Quadra Island met the standard TELUS reported they already had. 

Regional Director Jim Abram said, “Quadra Island applied for about $8.5 million for the unserviced areas and, in the end, got about two point something. So we lost about $6 million.”

The SRD has agreed to borrow up to $12,540,255 so that CityWest can build the necessary high-speed broadband infrastructure. 

(In the podcast Abram mentions $17 million, which includes amounts going to communities that were designated underserved.)

“This is something that would have to been done had the province come through with what they said they were going to come through with. They changed their mind based on erroneous information coming from – I won’t name any companies – but the big boys telling them we had 50/10. Out of the 200 homes we tested on Quadra Island according to their prescription – speed test, screenshot, send it in complied in a report … we had one out of two hundred that got 38 (downloading speed). That was the highest. Everybody else was down about 10 to 15 megabits down and anything from 0 to 3 up,” he said. 

Tahsis

Mayor Martin Davis reported that three a similar problem in Tahsis. 

“We found three locations that met the bar, one of them being the village office,” he said.

Tahsis did not qualify for a $2.4 million matching grant because they were supposedly a “served community.” 

It is not yet clear why the numbers TELUS reported do not match what these communities are actually experiencing.

A 2021 completion 

Meanwhile Cortes and Quadra Islands, as well as Gold River, Tahsis, Sayward and Zeballos are all in the group of communities scheduled for completion in 2021

So are Lund, Bliss Landing, and Texada Island, which are currently at least partially served by Twincomm. 

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