New internet provider considers expansion to Houston

CityWest, an internet, T.V. and phone service-provider, is interested in expanding their services to Houston.

CityWest, an internet, T.V. and phone service-provider, is interested in expanding their services to Houston.

“We now offer the fastest residential internet in the northwest and we are looking to increase speeds even more,” said Donovan Dias, Director of Sales and Marketing for CityWest.

Dias and CityWest CEO Don Holkestad talked to the Houston Chamber of Commerce at a recent meeting, trying to gauge the level of local interest in having a new service provider in town.

CityWest is a private corporation owned by the City of Prince Rupert and based there, servicing the whole area from Prince Rupert to New Hazelton to Kitimat to Houston.

In Houston, CityWest currently provides only analog cable, but Dias says they want to be the other telephone company in the area, as well as provide internet and T.V.

Holkestad says they want to expand Houston service if there is interest, but they aren’t planning to get to Houston until 2015.

CityWest provides over 300 T.V. channels, internet speeds up to 20 megabits, and has 800 gigabits of bandwidth available, said Dias.

He says they are focused on delivering faster and faster internet speeds, WiFi hotspots, and fibre to home, and want to provide an alternative to Telus in this area.

Asked by Troy Rietsma whether distance from their station affects costs or services, Holkstad said it wouldn’t in their plan – the farthest guy out would get the same amount of megabits.

Holkestad also says that though bandwidth is shared by an area, they only put a certain number of homes on one fibre-node and if people are being limited, they can add a node and double the capacity that way.

Asked about their repair policy, Holkestad says it has been ‘next day,’ but he adds that it’s getting harder as the company expands.

Their average residential customer in Prince Rupert pays around $70 per month, with the basic packages (telephone, internet and T.V.), and a business with three phone lines and internet would cost about $150 to $160 per month, said Dias.

“We want to offer our customers whatever they want,” said Holkestad.

“We do everything…except cellular,” he said.

Anyone interested in CityWest asked to contact Donovan at donovan.dias@cwct.ca.