By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke is one step closer to a brighter technological future with the announcement Thursday morning, March 5, that our community is going to be connected to advanced fiber optic cables.
This is a big deal. The city has long regarded ultra-high-speed Internet service as one of the key elements required to make this a more attractive place for the development of a high technology economic sector. Fiber optic cables are made of glass and will bring Internet speeds of up to 100 megabytes a second. And what’s more, the main installation won’t cost the City or residents a dime, although there will doubtless be a fee to connect to the main fiber optic line.
“Revelstoke is thrilled to be selected for this project and we’re especially happy that it’s coming at no cost to the municipality or its citizens,” Mayor Mark McKee said in a statement. “We recognize that fast Internet connection speeds make a community more attractive, and that we have to stay competitive in this area to attract visitors, residents and businesses to our community. We’re grateful to TELUS for their investment in our community and helping us to achieve our goals.”
Local government and businesses have been seeking this kind of Internet connection for at least 15 years and now it looks as though we’re going to get it.
Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason said this has been developing for about a year and it couldn’t have been announced at a better time.
“As you know we’ve struck a High Tech Task Force,” he said in an interview on Thursday afternoon. “This should help us better promote Revelstoke as a great place to invest.”
It’s also going to assist a number of technology-dependent businesses such as the Avalanche Centre that has large data usage requirements.
TELUS general manager Bert Braybrook said that not only will customers have access to incredible Internet speeds, “having the fastest Internet infrastructure available in the world today means Revelstoke businesses will be opened up to a world of innovation and global markets.”
TELUS crews will be in Revelstoke over the next few months speaking with interested citizens and businesses about connecting their properties. A TELUS/Revelstoke website will be available shortly with further information, while individual letters will be mailed to residents.
Now think about this: Mason said those TELUS crews may spend about $1 million in terms of accommodation, meals, entertainment and whatnot while they’re here.