Back in the late 1800’s, the ceremonial Last Spike was driven into the rails at Craigellachie near Revelstoke to signify the completion of a railway connecting Canada from east to west.
Thursday, at the Chamber of Commerce, which happens to be housed in the former CPR Station at the foot of Baker Street, Telus, in conjunction with the Provincial Government and City of Nelson, announced a $20 Million investment connect homes and businesses in and around the Heritage City to advanced fibre optic network.
The investment will connect more than 90 per cent of Nelson and enhance the wireless connectivity throughout the region.
“I often talk about connectivity and compare it to the railroad that was built across Canada and as that railroad was built, communities grew along the railroad,” Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services, told the crowd of more than 50 people, that included local city councillors, Telus staff, members of the tech community and Provincial Government Ministers.
“Once that railroad was built, trains came along and that led to economic growth in the interior and across Canada.
“In a similar way we have a new digital railroad and that digital railroad has just the same economic potential to increase growth throughout our rural communities.”
Construction on the TELUS PureFibre network is expected to begin this summer, with TELUS anticipating the majority of homes and businesses connected by the end of 2019.
TELUS also recently completed construction of two cell towers in Nelson and the Village of Slocan, and upgraded its wireless site in Rossland, bringing enhanced and more reliable cellular connectivity to residents, businesses and visitors in the region.
“As an entrepreneur born and raised in Nelson, I know firsthand that introducing PureFibre will not only better connect the hundreds of remote workers that operate in Nelson, it also makes the region increasingly inviting for organizations like Traction on Demand, who are dependent on reliable, secure and fast connectivity,” said Greg Malpass, Founder & CEO, Traction on Demand in a prepared statement.
Malpass recently completed a deal to purchase the Nelson Legion building on Stanley Street in December. He plans to move a branck of his independent consulting and application development firm to Nelson this spring.
“I’ve been a longstanding admirer and customer of TELUS – they continue to prove that what is good for business is also good for growing communities, demonstrated by these massive network investments to connect regions hungry for better technology. Technology is the fastest growing industry in British Columbia and connecting the Kootenay region with this caliber of connectivity creates new opportunities for people to live, play and work in one of the most spectacular places in the world,” Malpass added.
Telus said its gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network is among the most advanced communications infrastructure available in the world today, enabling residents to immediately take advantage of dramatically fast Internet upload and download speeds on plans like 750/750 Mbps or Gigabit Internet at 940/940 Mbps. Gigabit Internet customers can download a full HD movie, upload 100 high-resolution photos in just a few seconds.
Telus said the TELUS PureFibre network also provides significant benefits for applications like video conferencing, gaming, and home security. Supported by the TELUS PureFibre network, TELUS Smart Home Security offers 24/7 real-time monitoring and smart controls to manage cameras, lock and unlock doors, indoor and outdoor lighting, and even the thermostat.
In the immediate term, local healthcare providers, educators and technology companies will be able to draw upon the technology to reimagine how they deliver existing services and develop entirely new solutions. As the backbone of TELUS’ wireless network, this new fibre optic infrastructure will enable more wireless capacity and faster speeds throughout the region — throughout Nelson, too Willow Point on the North Shore and Taghum to the west — and lays the groundwork for 5G technologies in the years ahead.
“This TELUS project will make it easier and faster to do business and access important services. It spurs innovation and helps us attract tech talent that sets the stage for the next generation network,” said Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “Nelson will enjoy the benefits for years to come.”
Telus said residents can expect to see TELUS trucks throughout the community as construction begins, and TELUS representatives out knocking on their door to receive permission to connect their home to the network.
Once homes are connected, residents can immediately begin taking advantage of dramatically faster and symmetrical Internet speeds.
From left, Nelson Acting Mayor and Councillor Rik Logtenberg, James Wilson, Senior Marketing Manager for Telus; Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall; Minister of Citizens’ Services, Jinny Sims, Ben Bajaj from Telus, Councillor Keith Page and Tyler M Mooi, Telus Municipal Relations for Western Canada. — The Nelson Daily photo
A large crowd attended the major announcement Thursday at the Nelson Chamber of Commerce. — The Nelson Daily photo