Kervin’s Corner: Fibre Optic is now Community-wide in all but one zone, Telus says

“We should have first rate internet services, especially if we’re paying first rate prices.”

Just last year the city of Vancouver had infrastructure built to finally use fibre optics.

This past summer you may have seen Telus workers throughout our town doing the same thing, digging up lawns and putting in coils of wires throughout. In a rural community like ours, I’m actually quite surprised we’ve come this far.

Canada has so often staggered behind other countries in terms of infrastructure. It’s hard enough for a small town like ours to convince Telus to even invest in the community — but no need to worry, we’ve seized our opportunity. For so long we’ve had, and I say this with conviction, internet services that were way less than acceptable. In fact, for a first world country, we have had third world internet for a good decade now.

The opposite should be true — we should have first rate internet services, especially if we’re paying first rate prices. Funny how that works, right? Paying for services provided.

Anyway, it’s so important to have reliable, fast-speed internet. For business owners it makes a huge difference. It’s a make or break situation when it come to reliable ATM services or customer access to the company’s complimentary wi-fi. Really, modern businesses, whether home-based or not, rely heavily on good internet in basically all aspects of running them.

So why the long wait then to install fibre optic in our town?

I remember back in 2013 while I was interning at the District of Port Hardy, they had finally found out our town was ready for the upgrade, running new infrastructure all the way up from down Island to our northernmost community. It was an exciting idea to know that we were part of the grid, not to be left out. Four long years later, Telus, with cooperation from Port Hardy, finally went through with it.

Here’s to hoping we’re not paying for pricier deals for nothing.

Who knows, perhaps we can even take the route Metro Vancouver took last year as well – to provide free internet services across the area. Wouldn’t that be something? I know a good amount of people who could benefit from such a service, though it comes down to who would take the brunt of the cost (businesses or town council). For now, we’ll have to enjoy our newly upgraded “Internet 250/250” at a cost of $90 a month.

Even more impressive was the company’s decision to connect Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nation’s (Tsulquate) reserve with fibre optic.

What a step to take and I’m glad that the band council, the district council and Telus were able to come to some sort of agreement between all parties to provide such a service.

Telus has confirmed on their website that the left out zone in Port Hardy will get fibre optic connections in 2018.

Thomas Kervin is a recent political science alumnus from Simon Fraser University. He was born and raised in Port Hardy. He’s also a First Nations person who wants to address issues facing Indigenous communities today.

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