By the end of the summer Telus hopes to have completed installation of its fibre optic communication network throughout the Town of Ponoka.
To prepare for that, the company hosted an information session Thursday, June 4 with tours of its Telus Innovation Centre on Wheels tour bus. Using James Bond 007 as its theme, residents and business owners were able to gain a better insight into what the new system will look like.
Guiding attendees through the tour was Larry Vanderveen, senior market manager for broadband. In an interview, Vanderveen explained how bandwidth use roughly doubles almost every two years, creating a greater need for infrastructure investment.
“The biggest growth has been for video – traditional pay TV, ‘over the top’ or Internet-based video, and video communications,” he explained.
Market analysis from Cisco Systems estimates that by 2017, Internet video streaming will account for almost 70 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic, he added. The challenge is bringing reliable services with that extra bandwidth, which is where the fibre optic systems win over aging copper infrastructure.
“We see fibre changing how we like to work and play,” said Vanderveen.
The company is working to change out from copper to fibre in as many communities as possible and Vanderveen said Ponoka had reached its limit; Telus needed to either invest more money into the copper network, or invest in fibre.
Compression technology in the copper systems helped communications companies extend the life of the system in the 1990s, but with fibre, Vanderveen suggests the sky is the limit.
“It’s a significant difference in terms of the end user,” he added.
The company hopes the new system will allow improvements for many years in the future rather than having to change things every 10 years.
Other areas of demand are from Internet enabled devices such as tablets and laptops as well as Internet refrigerators with TV screens and Nesting thermostats. Vanderveen said they are “exploding in volume and complexity across North America.”
He says the fibre optic lines can meet those demands.
The event was hosted by Telus and the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce.