Dec 1, 2014 | Marmot, Winter 2014

Connectivity Gets a big boost on Mount Washington

Internet, cable and telephone services at Mount Washington Alpine Resort got a huge boost in October when Investel Capital Corp. announced it purchased a minority stake in Coastline Broadcasting Ltd. of Courtenay, which provides cable service to several hundred customers at the Resort.

The move, done through Investel’s subsidiary Teliphone Navigata-Westel Communication Inc., puts the company in position to expand nationally, all from the Comox Valley, says Eric Unrau, Vice-President, Marketing and Product Development for Teliphone Navigata-Westel (TNW).

What this means is Coastline Broadcasting will be able to offer a broader range of service at Mount Washington, using TNW’s state-of-the-art voice and data network, he said. New bundles soon to be offered at the Resort will include digital telephone, Internet and television services.

“Right now we’re looking to expand our capabilities on Mount Washington itself,” Unrau said. “We’re improving the network feed to the mountain, upgrading equipment… then we will be working on how we can expand our reach.”

Most of the upgrade work comprises improving the data link between Mount Washington and Courtenay. Coastline has a radio system that links the mountain to the Valley, but will upgrade its capacity to handle an expected increase in usage.

Royal LePage Realtor Rick Gibson, has used Coastline Broadcasting’s new equipment for the past year.

“The new system promises to offer more channels with more reliable signal strength,” said Gibson, who has his own channel on the current TV network.

“Their Internet promises to be stronger than what was available before and their phone system is affordable and works. I have been using their phone for almost a year and it is as good as Telus or Shaw.”

While Investel has roots in Vancouver, Coastline Broadcasting was attractive because it’s compact, Unrau said. “The consumer market is really expecting bundles. When you order services into your home, when you buy from any other candidate, you buy Internet, phone and cable. We want to be in that space as well,” he said.

“The easiest way to become competent in how cable television and broadcasting works is to buy a company that does it. The most affordable way to do that is to buy a small company,” he explained.

“We’re going to work to make this the largest independent television service provider,” Benoit Laliberté, Managing Director of Investel Capital Corporation, told the Comox Valley Echo. Laliberté’s vision is to bring services into Courtenay and Comox, Victoria and Vancouver in the spring of 2015, then nationally.

Teliphone Navigata-Westel already services Panorama Mountain Village in southeastern B.C. with Internet, infrastructure and telephone services through a partner, Unrau said. “We do intend to launch triple-play services in various markets across Canada,” he added.

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