Nelson is set to see improvements in communications infrastructure as Telus plans to invest $700,000 in the area this year.
“This really builds on investments we’ve been making over the last number of years across BC including right in Nelson and across the West Kootenay,” said Shawn Hall, Telus media relations.
The goal of the infrastructure upgrade is to increase capacity and wireless coverage in the area.
“The number of people using smart phones has just exploded in recent years, almost doubling in the last year alone,” said Hall.
“With more than half our wireless customers on smartphones, which require a lot of bandwidth, we will be increasing the capacity that we have at existing wireless sites within the community to make sure that we stay one step ahead of the demand.”
Hall said they also plan to install more fibre-optic cable in the ground to further increase Internet speeds. Additional towers may be in the future for the area, but it’s uncertain if any will be built this year.
“This year we’re upgrading capacity at existing sites, so people will notice better coverage and more capacity,” said Hall.
“This is not a project with a starting date and an end date. This is a continuation of the work that’s been going on for the last number of years.”
Hall said that areas such as Fairview that have coverage gaps may see some improvement.
“The amount of signal coming off a wireless site is very, very low, so it doesn’t turn corners,” he said.
“When you’ve got challenging geography as we know Nelson does, the signal can’t always get through. Some of these enhancements will help fill in some of those coverage gaps… we are aware of those areas and people certainly let us know about them, which we appreciate.”