Rogers Communications has expanded its 5G service to more than 20 communities in British Columbia Tuesday.
The technology was announced in cities including Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and Salmon Arm earlier this year, Lake Country and West Kelowna were among those announced Oct. 13.
“We’re excited to roll out 5G to more communities large and small so that customers in British Columbia can use the latest 5G devices to their full potential,” Rogers Communications wireless president Brent Johnston said in a statement.
The telecom giant said 5G will introduce new capabilities that are more advanced than previous versions of wireless technology.
“The combination of ultra-low latency for near-instantaneous responsiveness, a massive increase in the number of devices that can be connected to the network and new applications will open a world of possibilities,” the company said.
Real-time traffic management to reduce gridlock and commute time, drones using thermal imaging to better inform firefighters in combat and remote healthcare and virtual surgery for isolated communities are among some of the possibilities, according to Rogers. Also, lag-free multi-player gaming.
“We are excited that 5G is now available to even more customers across British Columbia fuelling productivity and innovation and helping to drive our economy forward,” B.C. Region president Rick Sellers said. “5G is the next technological evolution that will transform the way we live and work, and strong digital infrastructure will be essential as we move forward and reset the competitive landscape in our province.”
A recently erected cellular tower along Highway 6 raised concern among some Vernon residents worried of potential health ramifications of the new technology.
In January, Vernon’s Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) presented their concerns to council.
“There are no studies proving 5G is safe,” SENS member Tana Petersen told councillors Monday, Jan. 27. “Without our consent, we will all be subjected to this radiation 24-7.”
More recently, at a September council meeting, Coun. Scott Anderson asked Vernon city staff to confirm who is responsible to approve 5G technology.
City staff said all wireless technology falls under the federal government’s jurisdiction, however, modification to infrastructre would require municipal approval.