Telus to extend fibre optic network to city households

Telus is investing $150 million to connect more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Prince George directly to its fibre optic network, the company said Thursday.

The work, which will include the north side of Lheidli T'enneh First Nation's Fort George 2 reserve, will occur over the next three years and "enhance wireline and wireless connectivity," according to the company.

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It also means Telus representatives will be out knocking on doors seeking residents' permission to connect their homes to the network. The work comes at no cost to homeowners, the company said.

Called PureFibre, the network is "gigabit-enabled" and offers equally-fast upload and download speeds "which provides significant benefits for applications like video conferencing, gaming, and home security."

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said it will give businesses the same Internet speeds, functionality, reliability and security that large enterprises currently enjoy, "allowing residents to live and work in the city without compromising productivity or economic opportunity."

The company said it will also lay the groundwork for 5G technologies, touted as the key step towards the so-called internet of things, a catchall term for such items as self-driving cars, advanced robotics, telemedicine and automated factories.

Telus spokeswoman Liz Sauve said the build will not use equipment supplied by Huawei. Critics have said using the China-based company's technology risks exposing the country to cybersecurity attacks.

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