Telus high-speed internet coming to Christina Lake

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
March 18th, 2012

Christina Lake residents will have another high-speed internet option this spring.

Telus is in the process of installing fibre optic cables and the necessary hardware throughout the community over the next few months.

“Internet over the phone system will be far faster than what you get from dial-up,” said Shawn Hall, Telus spokesperson.

“It’s an exciting project and we’re looking forward to having it done.”

Money for the $103 million project is coming from a deferal account created by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), an independent public organization that regulates and supervises Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems, in 2002. To encourage competition, the CRTC ordered Telus to collect less revenue and to put the remaining funds into a the account. After a five year public consultation process, Telus has asked to use those funds for public good, said Hall.

Of those funds, Telus will be using 95 per cent of the money to install broadband internet service to communities where it was not economically viable to do so before. Broadband is a telecommunications signal that provides a greater bandwidth and therefore can provide for more users, more quickly than through the traditional lines.The remaining five per cent will be used to enhance phone services for people with disabilities.

The $103 million will pay for improved internet service to 35 communities over the next three to four years. Christina Lake was lucky enough to be at the top of that list.

“Christina Lake is a very dispersed community which makes it hard to service,” said Hall, adding the installation of new hardware has been a “big undertaking”.

Presently there are two other high-speed internet providers in Christina Lake including Rogers and, more locally, China Creek Internet Service Ltd. China Creek has two towers perched on the side of mountains surrounding the community. Customers need a receiver to access the commercial grade broadband service, which usually costs several hundred dollars. China Creek presently has 50 customers in Christina Lake.

Service for the Telus highspeed highway will be provided by Indigiinet out of Ontario. To sign up, contact them at www.indigiinet.com .

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