TELUS expects to invest at least $4.5 million in Gibsons and area this year, connecting more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses with the world’s fastest fibre optic technology, at no cost to local governments or residents. As the fibre optic project rolled out, the Coastal economy received almost $2 million in direct support as TELUS work crews purchased food and accommodation, fuel, transportation, supplies, and hired subcontractors and flaggers.
“This significant $4.5 million investment brings the most advanced communications infrastructure available in the world today to Gibsons,” said Lisa LaMothe, TELUS general manager for the Sunshine Coast. “This year, Gibsons residents will enjoy even more choice with the power and flexibility of Optik TV and more access to world’s fastest and most advanced wireless technology. Beyond that, our investment to connect homes and businesses directly to fibre optic cable will enable further innovation in emerging technologies such as health care and education.”
With speeds up to 100 megabits per second, and access to innovative health care information technology solutions, the eagerly-awaited fibre optic system puts Coast small businesses on a level playing field – capable of competing globally.
When considering its initial expansion to the Coast, TELUS first approached the Town of Gibsons to offer a strategic partnership. “We found Mayor Wayne Rowe was very collaborative, honest and frank and had a real vision of what was important to the community and how it dovetailed with what TELUS wanted to do,” LaMothe noted. “Mayor Rowe, and the Town staff were very forthcoming with what they expected from TELUS, and what the community’s needs were.” Those needs included an infrastructure that would support and attract small business, youth, and lifestyle entrepreneurs.
LaMothe explained that the availability, reliability and speed of the fibre optic and 4G LTE wireless networks will particularly appeal to small businesses and health care providers. With the new technology (that can be seamlessly upgraded as new innovations develop), medical records and information can be transferred quickly, and patients can access specialists through video conferencing – eliminating the need in many cases to travel to the Lower Mainland for routine appointments. “The Sunshine Coast now has the fastest and most reliable service available. As time goes on and technology evolves, it will be very easy for us to keep pace, and much simpler and easier to upgrade.”
The Coast-wide connection is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.