The District of Tofino and the District of Ucluelet today announced that a collaboration with TELUS, BC Hydro, All Nations Trust Company and the Province of British Columbia will bring improved Internet service to the West Coast of Vancouver Island communities of Ahousaht, Tofino and Ucluelet. Expected to be completed in early 2016, the multi-million dollar Highway 4 fibre optic cable installation project will improve capacity, alleviate congestion, and significantly improve the quality of Internet service for residents, businesses, and visitors.
"Fibre optic Internet infrastructure on the West Coast has been the vision and hope of coastal residents, community leaders and First Nations for many years,” said Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne. "The completion of this exciting project will bring many benefits to our growing and vibrant communities for decades to come.”
"This is great news for all of us out here on the West Coast,” said Ucluelet Mayor Dianne St Jacques. “The impact on our economy will be significant and our residents will really love ‘being brought up to speed.’ Thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work in making this project become our reality."
“This significant investment will create immediate and long-lasting benefits for West Coast communities, while laying the groundwork for TELUS to offer customers with expanded services in the coming years,” said Ray Lawson, TELUS general manager for Vancouver Island. “This fibre connection will support the local tourism economy, allow local healthcare providers to adopt new technologies in their practices, and bring local students fast access to information now and into the future.”
According to TELUS, the new fibre optic infrastructure has the potential to support home Internet at speeds up to 50 million bits per second depending on their distance from TELUS equipment (approximately 10 times faster than currently available technologies). The first stage of the fibre optic cable construction will take place from Great Central Lake to the Long Beach Junction and is expected to begin in late spring or summer 2015. BC Hydro has already begun to prepare existing poles to support the additional weight of the fibre lines. Once complete, TELUS will string the new fibre optic cable along the fortified hydro poles.
While weather will dictate the pace of work during the winter months, all parties anticipate the project will be complete by early 2016.