Fiber Optic Internet by spring 2016

The long-anticipated arrival of fiber optic Internet is just a few months away.

The long-anticipated arrival of fiber optic Internet is just a few months away.

The West Coast will undoubtedly be hesitant to get its hopes up its been promised faster Internet speed and added online capacity before, just to be burned by budget-based snags, but this time around both companies involved have assured the switch will be flipped in the spring of 2016.

The roughly $12 million project includes BC Hydro replacing about 350 of its poles along a roughly 65 km stretch of Hwy 4 for Telus to string fibre optic cables through.

Hydro’s shovels officially hit the ground earlier this year and Hydro spokesperson Karla Louwers told the Westerly last week that the work should conclude by the end of November.

She acknowledged the company is coming in about a month behind schedule but said a late addition of 10 unexpected pole replacements pushed the project back.

“From the original scope of the project we were on time, it’s those 10 additional poles that were added that were outside of the scope,” Louwers said.

“We’re not just replacing poles, we’re also replacing and upgrading some of the equipment on the poles.”

She said Hydro crews are working with a live 60-thousand volt line that could not be turned off without cutting the entire Coast off from power.

“Usually when crews work live-line it does take a little bit longer to complete that work because there’s that extra precaution built into those work methods,” she said.

“That circuit is a critical circuit; it’s the only feed to the West Coast. If we were to have to take it out the whole community would be out so it was essential that we were able to complete that work using live-line methods.”

Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé said Telus is ready to start funneling fiber cables through once Hydro’s pole replacement work is finished.

“TELUS will begin stringing the fiber in the next couple of weeks, and will be working over the coming months to place the fiber across the 65 kilometres,” Sauvé said.

“Barring extreme weather over the winter, we expect the project will be complete in the spring of next year, bringing local residents and businesses access to high-speed Internet and much-needed enhanced capacity.”

Telus, BC Hydro, All Nations Trust Company and the province are expected to pitch in to cover the project’s roughly $12 million price tag.

Hydro’s portion of the bill will be roughly $4.7 million, according to Louwers who noted Telus is handling the lion’s share of the bill.

“We wouldn’t have had to do anywhere near the amount of the work that we’re doing there unless fiber was being attached to those poles so much of these pole replacements were really Telus driven,” she said.

 

andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Coast company brings virtual whale watching experience to youth with disabilities

About 40 Easter Seals BC/Yukon children, youth and adults with disabilities were… Continue reading

Visitors and non-residents entering closed Hesquiaht territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

COVID- 19: Ucluelet encourages visitors and residents to mask up

“Put your ego aside, this is what needs to be done,” said Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel.

Frustration grows in Ucluelet as locked gate puts school garden in peril

“You walk by there and it’s just dead. Everything’s dry and yelling for water,” Liisa Nielsen said.

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

RCMP looking for missing teen in Comox Valley

Jenessa Shacter was last seen going for a walk in downtown Courtenay

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

Most Read