TELUS brings fibre optic cable to Fernie

In keeping up with the latest advances in communication technology, Fernie residents and visitors will be introduced to fibre optic cable.

In keeping up with the latest advances in communication technology, Fernie residents and visitors will be introduced to fibre optic cable.

Last week, TELUS announced that they will be connecting 90 per cent of homes and businesses directly to fibre optic cable — a technology that uses glass or plastic threads to transmit data.

“It’s essentially a pilot program that we’re bringing to a handful of communities throughout B.C. and Alberta,” TELUS communications manager Liz Sauvé said. “This build, we’re really hoping, is going to change people’s lives for the better.”

TELUS president of broadband networks Tony Geheran added, “Fernie will now be as well connected as any major urban centre in North America.”

The network will be made available to 3,400 residents and businesses throughout Fernie, with residents having access to this high speed connection as early as August.

The project is set to begin in April, as a crew of 50 to 60 will begin installing the fibre optic cable reels. Geheran noted that the project is expected to be completed by October, and will likely create a small influx in the economy throughout those seven months.

“We aim to do this build in a year,” said Geheran. “It drives a small economic boom.”

This multimillion dollar investment will allow locals and visitors alike to access internet with dramatically faster speeds, something Sauvé said will open up opportunities throughout the community.

“It’s going to offer Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and way more capacity,” noted Sauvé. “Fernie, the municipality, was just so supportive and they really see the benefits, especially attracting talented professionals that can now work from home or operate their own business.”

Over the next few months, the TELUS community will be approaching residents and business owners to discuss this opportunity.

Sauvé noted that the build comes at no cost to the taxpayers, and individuals do not have to be a TELUS customer to say yes to the build, nor is there a commitment to purchase TELUS services once the build is complete.

“It’s really great news for a community like Fernie,” said Sauvé.

Geheran added that as the requirements for Internet access continue to grow, the bandwidth — the bit-rate of available or consumed information — can’t keep up with the demand.

“For us, fibre is the logical solution to that problem,” he said, adding that the technology has a limitless future capacity. “We think it’s going to be really good for the community.”