Northwestern B.C. fibre optics system up and running

The system comes from a deal signed by the Nisga'a and BC Hydro in 2011

  • Jan. 20, 2016 6:00 p.m.

A FIBRE-OPTICS connection to the Nass Valley north of Terrace is up and running, says the Nisga’a Lisims Government.

Branching off of the fibre optics system which is part of BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line, the high-speed internet service into the Nass is to benefit residents and businesses, says Nisga’a Lisims Government president Mitchell Stevens.

It builds on an agreement signed between the Nisga’a and BC Hydro in 2011 permitting construction of the line through a portion of Nisga’a lands in return for economic and other benefits.

“We are still realizing the benefits of that agreement today. Nass Valley residents are the ultimate beneficiaries with this improved infrastructure that will see an increase in bandwidth and significant improvements in internet speed and connection stability,” said Stevens.

The service, which went into operation in December 2015, is now active in the Nass villages of Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw and Laxgalts’ap with the fourth village, Gingolx, to be added soon.

The service is provided through Lisims Communications – a Nisga’a Nation-owned and operated internet service provider and subsidiary of Nisga’a Pacific Ventures LP.

Financing and technical support came from a program provided through the All Nations Trust Company, a financial institution based in Kamloops.

Nisga’a Pacific Ventures LP chief executive officer Harry Nyce Jr. called the connection a “significant improvement” to communications for residents and businesses within the Nass Valley.

BC Hydro’s fibre optics system on the Northwest Transmission Line provides the crown corporation’s control centre with information as to the line’s performance.

Finished in 2014, the Northwest Transmission Line runs 344km north of Terrace to provide power to industrial projects and communities.

Its one major customer is the Red Chris mine owned by Imperial Metals and it also feeds power into the provincial grid from three run-of-river projects along the Iskut River owned by AltaGas of Calgary.