Tofino and Ucluelet will soon welcome the world of highspeed Internet as construction on the new fibre-optic cable along Highway 4 wraps up.
In December 2014, the Province of B.C. partnered with Telus Corp., BC Hydro and All Nations Trust Company to connect the West Coast to 21st century Internet capabilities.
Telus invested $5-million in the project they say will boost Internet speeds of up to 150 megabits per second and also enable residents to access Optik TV for the first time.
“Improving connectivity is a key part of our #BCTECH strategy, and Telus’ ongoing investments to help improve the digital infrastructure of communities around the province,” said Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Amrik Virk in an April 4 press release.
“This aligns with our goal of 100% access to high-speed Internet for every British Columbian by 2021.”
Local Internet providers Mascon and Ukee Cable are also gearing up for the switch, promising current customers glitch free Netflix and huge amounts of data for less money.
“We’ve been installing digital receivers and new upgraded modems since November,” said Mascon general manager Darren Muloin. “The network’s done. Most people are ready to go, we just need the final connection.”
The question still remains, however, as to when Telus will open the fibre line to its competition.
“Telus is controlling everything right now. I’m sure they are doing everything they need to do they are a big company and I’m sure the guys working on the ground know exactly where they are and when it’s going to be ready, but the people in the office that we usually deal with do not know when it’s going to be ready,” Muloin said. “We’re assuming May just because they couldn’t not have this running for summer. There’s no way we could get through summer without this being done.”
The Westerly reached out to Telus for a more definitive date, but they were unable to provide that information by press time.
Last year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) made a ruling that Canada’s biggest telecom companies must share their fibre-optic cable systems with smaller Internet providers.
“As excited as you guys are, we are awesomely more excited,” Muloin said. “We really don’t like what we are putting out right now. It’s not great Internet. We don’t put anything like this out in any of our other systems. This is not good. We are not happy with what’s happening. We want to turn the switch as badly as you guys.”