By now most Ponoka residents should have received a Telus flyer in the mail announcing improvements to its service through an almost complete fibre optic upgrade to homes and businesses.
If one were to look closer at the flyer, the Town of Ponoka’s logo and Mayor Rick Bonnett’s signature could also be seen alongside that of Fred Weinheimer, Telus general manager south.
The flyer is the result of a contract between the Town of Ponoka and the communication service provider, which was decided by the previous town council just before the municipal elections last year, but was signed and activated only recently.
Things have been moving fast since the contract was signed earlier this year with Telus staff canvassing neighbourhoods, informing residents of the changes ahead and seeking consent to upgrade existing services.
There is no cost to the homeowner to complete the hookup, only the regular costs associated with using their service, said Telus spokesperson Chris Gerritsen.
While Ponoka News was unable to ascertain full details from Telus, citing confidentiality for competitive reasons, one thing appears certain, Telus is paying for the upgrades.
Gerritsen said a project of this size takes a large amount of planning and investment and communication with stakeholders is important.
He suggests this is the first step in a lengthy process involving permission from different businesses and individuals to install cables and working closely with the Town of Ponoka may help move the process forward.
“It’s an endorsement by the town,” Gerritsen said.
He added the goal is to minimize the impact of construction to residents and to expedite work that needs to be done. As the upgrade continues, Gerritsen says customers will also have more information.
“This is really great news because not only will fibre optic network enhance services at home, it’s an investment that will enable others to innovate in how they deliver services,” added Gerritsen.
This upgrade will provide customers with enhanced services and Gerritsen said the municipality does not pay anything for this upgrade. As technology advances this fibre optic network will be able to handle further advances as well, he added.
Acting CAO Betty Quinlan said she is unable to provide details of how the town and Telus are working together but said other companies could do something similar.
She was unable to say more on the subject except that Telus is keeping the lines of communication open with town administration and this letter is to let residents know what is happening. “There’s no financial implications for us at all,” said Quinlan.
“They reach out to the communities and make sure that they’re welcome,” she concluded.