While Telus and the District of Port Hardy are still figuring out how exactly to install fibre optic in the Utah Subdivision, Chief Administrative Officer Allison McCarrick said the roughly 300 homes who have been left without high speed internet will have to wait before work starts up again.
“Right now the plans are the same as they’ve always been,” said McCarrick. “They will be getting fibre optic, Telus is working on a new design and it will be brought to us and then we should be able to move the project forward.”
McCarrick confirmed the affected area of town is from Carnarvon Place all the way down to the Public Works building.
“We’re working really hard to get answers from Telus, and I don’t know if they’ll use a different contractor or not, that’s up to them,” McCarrick said, adding while the chalk markings on the affected streets have washed away, “I believe they had a geo-tech machine come in and do the marking, so they have it all computerized and they know where everything is. It’s just a matter of them scheduling the work and getting a contractor here to do it.”
When asked if the district had spent any tax payer money on the engineering work previously done for the subdivision, McCarrick stated “it has not cost the district anything, Telus would have those costs.”
She again confirmed the district “is definitely committed to getting fibre optic to the rest of the residents, council has assured that. Telus is the one putting it in the ground, and we are working with them on this as best we can.”
Port Hardy Coun. Dennis Dugas, who lives in the affected area of town and also runs a bed and breakfast out of his home, was quick to reply when asked if the lack of high speed internet has hurt his business.
“It hasn’t to date, but for sure in the future everyone who stays at the bed and breakfast will be wanting high speed internet,” Dugas said, adding “us residents are all stuck in the same boat, and I’ve definitely heard people commenting their concerns on the subject, we’re all hoping we get fibre optic put in sooner rather than later.”
Dugas added that while he is a resident who lives in the affected area, “we all just have to be patient, because I know it is going to happen — it’s just going to take some time.”
When asked to comment, Douglas Self, Telus Communications Manager, confirmed the company is indeed currently working with the town on a new plan to install fibre optic. “From what I understand, they (Boyd Construction) went into the ground and discovered there were some complications from the existing infrastructures.”
Self said Telus wants to ensure “we don’t disrupt the services already in place, or if we have to, disrupt them as little as possible.”
A former Boyd employee, who requested to remain anonymous, said the reason the company didn’t install fibre optic to the subdivision was due to their original plan “not being approved by Telus.”
Self stated he does think it is definitely possible for the company to install fibre optic in the subdivision in the future. “The investment is important to us, we are committed to finishing the project by installing exactly what the rest of the community already has.”