Thursday, January 21, 2010

CityWest presents a vision of growth for Chamber of commerce meeting

It was a fairly upbeat assessment from the marketing and sales manager of CityWest at a recent Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Chad Cunningham, outlined a positive message for his audience on January 20th, suggesting that 2010 could be the "best year on record" for the city owned telephone and telecommunications company and that 2011 could be even more impressive.

Cunningham's optimistic observations were relayed in a Northern View piece posted to the paper's website on Wednesday, in the course of his presentation to the Chamber he outlined some of the future plans for the company, including more bandwidth in Prince Rupert, digital cable in Kitimat, the prospect of video on demand services arriving to the system, as well as the introduction of 3G cellular technology in Prince Rupert.

Stressing the local nature of CityWest, he highlighted CityWest's expansion in local communities suggesting that while their competition is shutting down offices and leaving town, CityWest is opening up storefronts. A claim which may have just a wee bit of hyperbole in it, considering at last report and a recent walk by Eastwind Emporium at least, Rogers was still fairly well represented in Prince Rupert and to our knowledge in Terrace as well and from all accounts hardly seem to be in motion towards any kind of departure.

Mr. Cunningham quoted statistics that state that CityWest currently has 87 per cent of the telecommunications market in Prince Rupert and 23 per cent of the market in Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers. Providing for revenues that were in the 20 million dollar range, bringing in a surplus for the company thanks to lower than expected expenses.

The future of revenue generation it seems will be based on the introduction of services to the new markets that CityWest has arrived in of late, a process that they feel will be assisted by the recently completed fibre link to Kitimat which reduces the need for infrastructure in the four most western communities served by the system.

And while Rupertites (owners of the company that we are) will no doubt be interested in the positive nature of the update, it still was very much, more of a marketing and sales oriented viewpoint.

The numbers and details that the city's residents may be more interested in might be those of debt load (is there an outstanding debt that needs to be serviced?), the status of dividend payments to the city ( they've been rather light on occassion ) if the city still provides any financial assistance to the company and what the projected costs may be of introducing the enhanced services to those new markets which still only account for a 23 percent market penetration, all while maintaining services in the home market of Prince Rupert.

All details which we hope might come from senior City West officials at a public forum such as a General meeting, where the share holders (taxpayers) can ask questions of their communications company regarding the changing nature of the communications industry.
Not to metion have a more detailed examination of that promising prospectus of growth, as well as the balance sheets and see if the positive vibes are indeed going to last through 2010 and into 2011.

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