Telus is investing $10 million in Courtenay and Comox this year to expand wireless coverage and enhance wired Internet and Optik TV.
The world’s fastest wireless technology, called 4G LTE, offers Internet speeds two to three times faster than past technology, enabling connections as fast as home Internet on smartphones, tablets and Internet keys.
“Wireless technology is increasingly valuable with new devices that people are using for home-managed care,” said Eric Macdonald, vice-president of finance capital and support services at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Emerging technologies are basically infrastructure that will help manage chronic illnesses that require continuous monitoring, he added.
“Diabetics monitoring their blood sugars using their iPhone, that kind of thing,” Macdonald said.
The $10 million investment includes fibre-optic cabling at Mount Washington, and a new telecommunications tower on Knight Road near the airport. The 40-metre tower is expected to plug holes in cell phone coverage in the area.
Last year, Telus invested $6 million to connect most homes in Courtenay and Comox directly to fibre optic cables, dramatically improving Internet speeds for businesses and households.
“The demand for advanced communications services is exploding in Courtenay and Comox, and Telus is committed to bringing the latest technology, both wired and wireless, to the community,” said Raymond Lawson, Telus general manager for Vancouver Island.
The company’s We Give Where We Live philosophy has encouraged its 25,000 employees and retirees in B.C. to donate more than $100 million and volunteer 2.66 million hours to organizations and charities since 2000. In Courtenay and Comox, Telus employees have contributed more than $100,000 and 25,000 volunteer hours.
From time to time, the hospital applies to We Give Where We Live.
“It’s good to see them giving back to the community,” Macdonald said.