Telus is building up the present and future in Greater Vernon.
The communications giant announced Wednesday it’s investing $35 million in fibre network technology to all residents and businesses of Vernon, Coldstream and the Regional District of North Okanagan.
“In the coming weeks and months, Telus will be connecting 90 per cent of homes and businesses directly to fibre optic cables,” said Tony Geheran, Telus’ EVP and president of broadband networks.
When finished, Telus will have invested $1 billion since 2013 in rolling out fibre to the communities.
Construction work will begin later this month and Geheran anticipates the entire build will be finished by the end of the year.
“We see this as a generational investment as technology will support the infrastructure, telecoms and entertainment and communication needs for the community for the next 20 to 30 years,” said Geheran.
Residents can expect to see Telus employees around the community as they’ll be knocking on doors in the coming weeks to discuss connecting homes and businesses directly to fibre.
For more information, you can visit telus.com/Vernon. You can put in your postal code and the site wlll tell you when your neighbourhood is due to come online.
You can also go to the site to register their interests so they can avoid the door-to-door aspect.
“This build comes at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Geheran. “You don’t have to be a Telus customer to say yes to the build, nor is there a commitment to purchase Telus services once the build is complete.”
The gigabit-enabled network is the most advanced communications technology available in the world today.
Once the work is complete, connected homes and businesses will immediately experience dramatically faster Internet speeds of up to 150 megabits per second.
Acting Vernon Mayor Brian Quiring called the announcement great news for the area.
“It’s fantastic for our community,” said Quiring. “It’s taking us to the next level which is becoming a smarter city. It’s going to be great for local businesses.
“It’s green technology, it’s passive, it doesn’t emit electricity. It’s the right thing for the community.”
Perhaps most critically, said Geheran, the Telus investment will enable organizations to innovate how they deliver services such as healthcare and education, benefitting the citizens’ of Vernon for generations to come.
“We believe the only way to manage the burgeoning healthcare costs with an aging demographic is to improve the primary healthcare ecosystem through a better transition and transmission of patient data from primary source through to clinicians to physicians to specialists,” said Geheran.