TELUS is investing $100 million to connect more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Kelowna and West Kelowna directly to a fibre optic network.
TELUS said it started the work last fall, and expects to have the final homes and business connected by next spring.
The fibre optic infrastructure being installed represents the most advanced communications technology available in the world today, and will enable connected homes and businesses to immediately take advantage of faster Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. In the long-term this should provide more than enough data capacity to meet growing demand for generations to come.
Local health care providers, educators and technology companies serving those industries will be able to draw upon the technology to re-imagine how they deliver services.
“TELUS’ investment to bring fibre optics directly to our homes, business, healthcare facilities and schools will make Kelowna and West Kelowna among the most connected places in the world,” said Tony Geheran, TELUS president of broadband networks.
“A strong economy is necessary for a healthy and thriving community, and this fibre network will put Kelowna at the forefront of the emerging digital economy, connecting the community together with other parts of B.C., Canada and the rest of the world.”
This investment builds on the commitment TELUS made last year to invest $2.8 billion in all corners of B.C. through 2016, and comes at no cost to taxpayers.
Responding to the announcement by TELUS this week, Westside-Kelowna MLA and B.C.’s Premier Christy Clark said: “B.C.’s growing knowledge economy depends on fast, reliable Internet access. Expanding fibre optic infrastructure in West Kelowna will create more opportunities for economic development, investment, and education.”
Preparatory work is underway in West Kelowna, where residents can expect to see the TELUS team throughout the community in the coming weeks knocking on doors to discuss connecting homes and businesses directly to its fibre optic network. There is no requirement to be a current TELUS customer to be connected to the network, nor are there any conditions to purchase services once the build is complete.
Last month TELUS announced that Optik TV customers can now access Netflix directly from their set-top-box, eliminating the need to switch hardware, remotes, or source inputs when going from regular TV to Netflix. With the new fibre technology, streaming Netflix will be seamless with no delays or lags, regardless of how many TV screens are in use throughout the home.