Thank you for giving TELUS the opportunity to respond to a letter that ran on Aug. 26, and provide clarification about our role in ensuring connectivity during an unprecedented wildfire season in the community.
Our team has worked alongside local authorities and emergency crews since the Lytton Creek wildfire started on June 30 to protect critical communications infrastructure and, when necessary, to find temporary solutions to maintain these critical services.
On July 1, we brought in a cell tower on wheels to provide temporary wireless coverage for emergency responders in Lytton, enabling firefighters to communicate in the field.
After the Lytton Creek wildfire burned across Highway 8 on Aug. 16 and damaged kilometres of TELUS fibre lines and other utilities, we deployed an additional cell tower on wheels to Spences Bridge within 24 hours, enabling customers in the area to communicate by text message. The damage to our infrastructure was extensive, and it was estimated to take 21 days to fully restore service once local emergency officials confirmed that the area was safe. Thanks to our team’s grit and determination, we replaced some burned fibre lines within 10 days, fully restoring service to customers on Aug. 26.
To support our customers during this difficult time, we have suspended home service billing and are waiving wireless overages throughout the months of July and August for all evacuated customers. These credits and free overages will be applied automatically so our customers do not need to worry about contacting us. We want our customers to focus on staying safe, and not worry about their bills.
We are incredibly proud of our team’s response in the community under exceptionally challenging circumstances. TELUS crews worked long hours and spent time away from their families and loved ones to support emergency responders and our customers. In some cases, our team members were under evacuation orders themselves, and still made the choice to put the needs of our customers and the community first.
We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding, and extend our gratitude to our TELUS team for their remarkable response and unwavering commitment to our customers.
General Manager at TELUS