Fibre optic strands emerge from a network line.

Fibre network being improved in Colwood

Telus plans to upgrade lines for free, to allow for faster Internet speed within city

The future may be now.

Billed by Telus as “blazing fast,” new upgrades from the telecommunications giant are coming to the West Shore in the form of TELUS Fibre. The network, built from transparent fibres of glass marginally thicker than the width of a human hair, is aimed at improving Internet speeds and more than is currently possible on the existing copper-wire network.

“It’s stronger bandwidth and better services, as we are moving forward to ensure we’ve got adequate infrastructure,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

More than 90 per cent of the city is expected to be outfitted with the new technology, which will see Telus staffers visit homes and businesses and request permission to have a fibre network connected directly.

Cables run through the telephone would see “minimal or no impact,” according to a Frequently Asked Questions document found on the Telus website. It also said underground connections would require more work, but promised the area would be restored after the work is finished, including sod and/or seeding. There is no cost to taxpayers or residences to receive the upgrades.

“This could well allow for people to work more positively from home and have break-out offices for business and that sort of thing, where they don’t have to be in a strict, centralized (location),” Hamilton said.

The mayor said there is also potential for improved cell phone coverage in common drop zones across Colwood, including at West Shore Parks and Recreation fields and Royal Roads University, where cell phone coverage can be unreliable. She hoped the improved infrastructure could also promote businesses moving out to Colwood and play a part in stimulating economic growth without costing taxpayers.

According to the TELUS Fibre fact sheet, the new technology will enable the fastest Internet speeds the company has to offer, and “at the present time” there are no plans to require a switch to the new technology. The existing copper network will continue to function and upgrades are expected to begin in 2016.

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