Dino Tsakonas

Update on CityWest’s progress in our area

Dino Tsakonas, Regional Manager for CityWest, gave Cortes Currents an update on how the Connected Coast initiative to bring high speed internet connection to our area is progressing.

Photo credit: Scientist holding fibre optic cable – Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash

The campaign to get Cortes Island residents signed up for free internet connection is over, and CityWest is now focusing on the inhabitants of Denman and Hornby Islands.

“We’re still working with the Ministry of Transport to finalize a bunch of details for Cortes, but they are just minor details. Half of the island is already approved,” he said. 

As a result of global supply chain disruptions, the ‘Dropping-in’ campaign to connect individual households on Cortes Island has been set back until January. Tsakonas said that, for example, an incredible amount of conduit is needed to supply every home that is receiving fibre optic cable. CityWest just finished work in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and is now in Haida Gwaii.

He explained, “Everyone’s doing it, all over the world, and when you think about the corona virus, a lot of people are using those same materials to make more masks, more ventilators. Those materials were pushed towards that.”

Tsakonas said the ‘Dropping-in’ campaign will start on Cortes, then they will move on to Hornby and Denman, and finally Quadra Island. 

The funding to bring high speed internet to Quadra has not yet been finalized, “but it is going to happen.” 

CityWest is still negotiating a possible buy-out of Twincomm, the local internet provider for our area. 

“The CEO told me things are getting close, so we’ll see if both sides agree upon a number” said Tsakonas. “There is no real rush, it could happen six months from now and it would still be fine.”

Tsakonas still periodically helps at Twincomm, where he was the General Manager for 18 years prior to June 28th of this year.

The ‘CanPac Valour’ arrived in Campbell River and is about to start laying cable over 3,400 kilometres of the West Coast. Tsakonas suspects they may begin in Vancouver because that is where the fibre optic cable is coming from, but he is not yet privy to this information.  

On a personal note, Taskonas said he is doing really good and will be going trout fishing after our interview. 

He said tell Cortes residents, “Be patient everybody, fibre optics is coming.” 

Top photo credit: Screenshot of Dino Tsakonas taken during the interview

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