Telus is extending its fibre-optic network to the Sunshine Coast, the company confirmed this week.
"The build is happening. This is bringing world-class telecommunication service to the Sunshine Coast," Telus spokeswoman Liz Sauvé said Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Sauvé said there was no specific date for when the service would become available.
"But I know our teams will be in the area in the coming weeks, going to door to door, asking people if they want to be hooked up to fibre optics," Sauvé said.
Even though residents will have the option of declining the offer, she said, "we anticipate most residents will be excited to have the service."
The move is part of a $1-billion investment by Telus in its fibre-optic network across B.C., Sauvé said.
"We're focusing a lot of that in rural areas, and expanding our fibre-optic cable to the Sunshine Coast is something we're really excited to do."
The expansion, she added, will especially be a benefit to local businesses that want access to higher-speed Internet.
"It's going to allow everybody to operate locally while competing on a global scale."
Fibre-optic lines use light instead of electricity to transfer data through tiny strands of glass or plastic, offering higher bandwidth speed and requiring less upkeep.
Municipal governments in the region are hailing the arrival of the new service as a major step forward.
On its website, the Town of Gibsons says it "marks an economic coming of age" for the region.
"The benefits to Gibsons' residents, businesses and community are extensive," the website posting says. "As a Gibsons resident, you will be able to live in one of the world's most liveable towns and operate your business right from where you live."
The new technology will also enable the Town to continually monitor some of its most critical assets, such as the water reservoir and treatment plant, the posting says.
The District of Sechelt website says Telus is working on the project with the District's business development branch, Sechelt Innovations Ltd.
"Once complete, this will allow over 90 per cent of residents and businesses to enjoy Western Canada's best home entertainment experience, Optik TV, as well as access to the fastest Internet speeds Telus offers," the District's website says.
Sauvé confirmed that 90 per cent coverage is the region's capacity, but could provide no details on specific areas that would be receiving the service.
"This is something we're in the early stages of," she said.
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