The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) has written a formal letter of support for an application by TELUS to provide increased connectivity to the areas in and around Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Savona, and 70 Mile House via TELUS’ PureFibre network.
TELUS had asked for the letter to support its application for funding under the Connecting Communities BC Fund. The proposed networks along Highways 1 and 97 are four of several that TELUS would like to build in the region; other networks are proposed for Savona, Logan Lake, Barriere, Vavenby, Westsyde, and Chase.
The Ashcroft network would extend along Evans Road to the Ashcroft Terminal and along Cornwall Road to Highway 1, and include the Ashcroft Reserve and residents in TNRD Area “I”. The Cache Creek network would meet the Ashcroft network to the south of Boston Flats and extend north to include Bonaparte First Nation (IR3) on Highway 97.
The Savona network would extend along the Highway 1 corridor from Walhachin to Tobiano and north along Deadman Road through Skeetchestn, while the 70 Mile network would extend east from Highway 97 to cover all of Green Lake and Pressy Lake.
The project would come at no cost to the TNRD or any of the communities involved, and would be an investment by TELUS and the Province of B.C. If the network is approved to be built, there would be no obligation for residents to sign up for TELUS services.
The councils of both Ashcroft and Cache Creek voted at recent meetings to send a letter of support for the proposed networks in their areas. A PureFibre network has already been announced for the Village of Clinton and surrounding areas, with work due to start in spring 2023.
The proposed networks would provide fibre optic directly to residences and businesses, for people who live within a municipality or in the surrounding electoral area. It is estimated that the Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and 70 Mile networks would between them bring fibre optics to 2,680 households.
TELUS says that the PureFibre network will provide faster and more equitable service for rural customers who find their current internet service impacted by usage and who frequently experience less than 50 megabytes per second (Mbps) download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has noted that “A well-developed broadband infrastructure is essential for Canadians to participate in the digital economy.” It has stated that all Canadian homes and businesses should have access to broadband Internet speeds of at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads.