Improved Internet service on the way

Telus and Shaw aiming to expand and improve service for Greater Trail

Faster Internet service and a first time look at Optik TV is coming down the wire for residents in the City of Trail.

On Friday, Telus announced a $6 million investment in Trail in 2013 to improve its communications infrastructure to 95 per cent of city.

“Ultimately, what this means is that residents and businesses in Trail will soon be linked to the most advance communications infrastructure offering the best speeds and Internet-based services available,” said Lisa Sauve, Telus media relations.

Sauve said that current service rates will not change as a result of the upgrades, though customers will notice more speed in the level of service, and access to new technology as it evolves.

“The last major upgrade was completed in 2009,” said Sauve. “This newest upgrade, replacing the majority of the communication cables in the area with fibre optics, will provide access to new services that were not previously available.”

Essentially, Telus customers will have their homes wired directly to fibre optic cables which increases Internet speed two to three times and allows access to Optik TV service.

Sauve said the upgrades will not interrupt current services, though there may be a few minor traffic delays in the area as Telus crews complete construction for the project.

Work is underway now, and the new services will be available to Trail residents and businesses later this fall.

The other communications giant in the area, Shaw Cable, isn’t being left in the dust, because in May, the company issued a promise to expand its service to Trail, in a letter addressed to city council.

A two-year long fibre connection project from Alberta to the West Kootenay was recently completed and upgrades to its hub site in Castlegar are underway.

What this means to area residents is the addition of television channels, in particular Spokane stations; increased Internet speed; and ‘potentially’ home phone service available in the late fall.

“These enhancements are the result of $4 million work of investment Shaw has made,” said Jeff Bray, manager BC Shaw communications.

Earlier this year, the City of Trail completed a $145,000 mission to improve its Internet service by installing a fibre optic network in front of businesses in the downtown core.

Connector locations for end users were added to enable enhanced Internet service to private users at a reduced cost, said Duane Birnie, information system coordinator for the City of Trail.

An optical fibre is flexible and transparent, made of glass or plastic, and slightly thicker than a strand of human hair.

Optical fibres permit transmission over longer distance and higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communication.