Andy Balser, Telus’ vice-president of marketing, announced the company will spend $75 million on fibre optic network connection in Nanaimo and Lantzville on Friday, March 8. (Karl Yu/NEWS BULLETIN)

Telus spending $75M for better internet, cellphone service in Nanaimo area

Work expected to begin in April to connect areas to Telus PureFibre network

Telus will spend $75 million to bring faster internet speed and better cellphone service to the Nanaimo and Lantzville areas.

The telecommunications company announced Friday, it will connect over 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the areas, including Snuneymuxw and Snaw-Naw-As first nation land, to its PureFibre network. Telus’ “gigabit-enabled” network will allow for faster movie download, online gaming and web browsing, as well as video conferencing. It also sets the stage for future 5G mobile technology.

“We don’t have a map published by any means, but what we look to do is, as we build the fibre network, we’re going to look for opportunities to extend both coverage, to put cell service where it maybe not as good today and improve that capacity to give people higher speeds … it really gives the ability to start to get much more targeted and deliver improved service to where people in Nanaimo want it most,” said Andy Balser, Telus’ vice-president of marketing.

Balser said he couldn’t speak specifically about any plans to build cellphone towers locally, but did say steps are being made to improve service.

“What I can say is with the fibre build we will be adding small cells which will improve coverage and capacity,” said Balser. “These are small, low-powered cell sites that we attach on streetlights or telephone poles.”

Kim Smythe, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said the business community will benefit.

“Out of the 6,000 businesses in Nanaimo that are licensed, nearly 40 per cent are home-based businesses and you got to expect that all of those are reliant on their internet connections and some, this will be … great news for them because they are technology workers in the home,” said Smythe.

Ralph Nilson, Vancouver Island University president and vice-chancellor, said the news fits nicely with happenings at VIU.

“Any time we can increase the bandwidth and the opportunities in Nanaimo and the area is only going to enhance for all of us and all of our students … employees, all of our staff are excited about continuing to enhance, because we’re currently going through a whole transformation in our IT system of the hardware and the software upgrades and we’ve got a great leadership team up there doing this and when we have the kind of complementary activity going on from Telus in our community, it’s going to enhance our whole community, so we’re very, very pleased with this development,” said Nilson.

Leonard Krog, Nanaimo mayor, said the announcement is good for the city.

“This is about speed and connectivity,” said Krog. “In the modern world, that’s what it’s all about. The ability to exchange and retrieve knowledge, information in a speedy fashion. It attracts tech companies to the community that otherwise might not consider Nanaimo to be on the list and you couple this … with what we already have going for us as a community, this is a tremendously positive announcement for Nanaimo.”

Connection comes at no cost to taxpayers and work will last from April until 2021. Representatives will door-knock seeking permission from residents to connect with no obligation to sign with Telus.

Balser said there could be minor traffic detours while work is being completed, but they will be “short-lived.”

“Traffic may be slow, but your internet is about to get a whole lot faster,” said Balser.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

‘Howard’, the iconic Nanoose Bay attraction, will be moved as soon as possible

Man ticketed by Oceanside RCMP after trailer flips on Highway 19

Incident caused delays to southbound traffic

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read