Ready to ride the super highway?

The information super highway is in place on the North Island and should be available at your doorstep in April.

The information super highway is in place on the North Island and should be available at your doorstep in April.

“To use a road analogy, all of the physical highway and major off-ramps have been completed, we are now preparing the connection to individual houses,” said Telus Vancouver Island General Manager Ray Lawson.

This means Telus will be able to immediately start selling additional bandwidth to fibre fed business customers as well as ISP providers like Keta Cable and Ragged Edge.

“We’re taking a phased approach to ensure an optimal customer experience, which will allow us to closely monitor for any potential kinks and iron them out as quickly as possible. Our business customers require notifications, and the work needs to be done at specific times to minimize any impact to their business,” said Lawson.

The physical equipment needed to hook residential customers in Port McNeill was completed this week and Telus will begin migrating customers onto the service in April after configuration and testing, said Lawson.

Port Hardy is a few weeks behind in the process. The migration process will involve moving home connections from the existing equipment to the new equipment, when it is ready, in batches, he said.

“It will be pretty seamless for the customers,” said Lawson.

This upgrade will provide Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) technology that supports speeds between 6 Mbps and 100 Mbps depending on the customer’s service plan and distance from Telus equipment.

“Our wireless team plans to bring LTE wireless technology to Port Hardy and Port McNeill later this year. LTE stands for long-term evolution and is the fastest wireless technology available in the world today,” he said.

“We are so very close. This was a huge undertaking” to complete the process, Lawson said.

That process involved the installation of 146.5 kilometres of fibre optic cable from Sayward to Port McNeill, with 118 put in underground beside Highway 19, and 28.5 installed aerially along power polls. The work was done in two segments, said Lawson, the first, from Sayward to Woss and the second from Woss to Port McNeill.

At this point in time, the completion of Telus’ fibre optic line will not impact Keta Cable, says Office Manager Tianna Reusch.

“We don’t have a need to access it, as our new circuit has enough capacity for the foreseeable future.  This is not to say that down the road we won’t link up with the fibre. It is nice to know it’s there and ready to use if our needs grow so much that it’s required, but one of the major factors for Keta Cable choosing to stick with our current bandwidth supplier is cost,” Reusch said.

“Our current source for bandwidth has allowed us to increase reliability and traffic limits without any increased cost to our customers,” Reusch said.

“The timing is coincidental, but the completion of Keta Cable’s new circuit has happened and the launch of new package options and speeds for Keta Cable subscribers will begin in the last few weeks of March. Subscribers in Port Hardy will be the first to use the new circuit and our other communities, such as Port McNeill and Alert Bay will follow shortly after,” she said.

 

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