Telus is investing $21 million within Langley City to connect homes and businesses to its advanced fibre optic network.
Direct fibre connection will dramatically boost data capacity, providing local homes and businesses access to the gigabit-enabled Telus PureFibre network.
“The network that we’re building today is equipped to keep pace for generations to come,” said Leigh Tynan, the Telus director of business strategy development. “We are going to need faster and faster connections.”
The project is underway and could connect more than 90 per cent of Langley City homes and businesses directly to the network.
“There’s also no requirement to be a Telus customer to accept that connection to your home or businesses,” Tynan said. “And there’s no obligation to buy once you’re connected. We want to replace our network.”
“There’s no strings attached…. Well just one. There’s a really small pure fibre string attached,” she said.
Tynan said with Telus having done this work in other communities, there’s been misunderstanding about the offer to connect and that’s something the telecom has had to work to overcome.
People can sign up electronically on the Telus website to be connected (connecting does not obligate them to buy any services from Telus) or they can sign a paper consent form after booking a Telus employee to come to their home and do the connection.
The work is so Telus is ready for the future demands of technology, including the coming of 5G cellphones and the concept of smart cities (highly connected communities.
“It’s also providing the network effectively, for crazy technology like self-driving cars,” Tynan added. “That’s only possible when you have a ubiquitous network of wireless.”
Such technology will allow for telecommuting, cloud computer services, and managed IT services and will help Langley City attract residents who can work in the tech sector and could increase property values.
Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce executive director Colleen Clark said she was living in Sechelt when Telus did the same work there.
“I know what this can actually do for business,” Clark commented. “This is a huge plus for business, whether you’re a small home-based business who is working from her house or a huge community member who has a brick and mortar office.”
“Langley City is continually strengthening our position as the regional hub in the Fraser Valley for innovation, education, technology, shopping, health industry, leisure, and entertainment,” said City Mayor Ted Schaffer. “With Telus’ investment in Langley City, the new network will provide residents with more options when it comes to enhanced high-speed internet service.”
The majority of the project will be done by spring 2019. There may be a few houses and businesses that cannot connect to the network based on their own infrastructure. Condos can connect if the strata council has a majority vote. Rental buildings can connect if the owner approves. Each tenant would then have the option to connect within their space.
The project was announced Thursday afternoon at Langley City hall.
“It’s part of a wider commitment to a $4.7 billion in infrastructure and facilities across British Columbia through 2020,” Tynan said.
This work has been done in other B.C. communities, including Abbotsford. It’s in progress in Surrey but there’s nothing definite on when this will happen in Langley Township.