Christmas came early Tuesday to Princeton as Telus announced an $8 million plan to replace its local infrastructure with state-of-the-art fibre optics.
“It will change everything. This is something that will benefit every family,” said Gary Schatz, director of economic development. “It’s a game changer for the town. It’s going to change the way we do business.”
Schatz saw fibre optics as a priority when he took up his position here a year ago.
Telus executive Leigh Tynan told The Spotlight town managers were very involved in making the announcement happen.
“Gary came to us and he said ‘how do we get this done?’”
She also credited a former town councillor with getting the technology ball rolling four years ago.
“Kim Maynard first approached us on this. He has been a tremendous asset.”
Maynard, who was on hand for the announcement made at the Princeton Legion, said the project is “huge…For me it’s one of my dreams come true.”
Tynan said Telus will begin replacing its old copper infrastructure with fibre optics next spring, and the project will be completed by fall.
The impact to internet users will be “a transformation,” she added. “It will allow you to do things you’ve never dreamed of.”
The new network, branded as Telus PureFibre, is a “blazing-fast, 300-megabit-per-second connection enabling customers to download a full HD movie or upload one hundred high-resolution photos in seconds,” she explained.
It will be available to 90 per cent of Princeton homes and businesses.
“It’s incredible what it is going to do for business…This new connectivity will boost the local economy by encouraging investment and helping local businesses thrive, whether they’re established large operations or small, home-based start-ups,” said Tynan.
“Businesses can operate more efficiently and save money – taking advantage of solutions like telecommuting, cloud computing, managed-IT services and enhanced reliability.”
She predicted PureFibre will enhance Princeton’s appeal and promote growth.
“It’s also a key driver in promoting Princeton as a great place to live and work – attracting skilled workers, tech-savvy professionals and entrepreneurs who can use the technology to operate locally and compete globally like never before.”
Approximately 40 people, including Mayor Spencer Coyne, members of council, MLA Linda Larson and other dignitaries and Telus representatives were on hand to receive the news Tuesday.
Coyne expressed his excitement and gratitude.
“This is a great opportunity for the community. The economic benefit of connecting the community to the global market is priceless. Fiber optics coming to Princeton will open doors to industry and diversification unlike ever before. I think we need to thank all of those who have been involved in bringing this opportunity to our community.”