The approx. location of the new Telus Tower.

By Andrea Arnold

Valemount residents waiting on action from Telus to improve wireless services will have to wait until sometime in 2022. Several attempts were made by Goat Staff for a more firm timeline from Telus representatives, but none was provided.

The new tower will allow approximately 35 residences in Cedarside to receive Telus service, where it was previously not available as well as provide more reliable and faster service to all Valemount customers, a Telus spokesperson said.

The tower will also provide fiber optic capabilities to the Valemount Industrial Park.

“This is a huge win for the Village of Valemount and our partners, Valemount Community Forest / Valemount Industrial Park,” said Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson. “It brings fibre optics directly into the industrial park and opens the potential for tenants who may require high-speed broadband connectivity to reach global markets.”

Telus worked with the Village of Valemount and the Regional District of Fraser Fort George to decide on the best location for a new tower in the Cedarside area, south of Valemount. The original plan was modified after consultation with the Regional District. A new spot was chosen about 850m south of the original location, closer to Whiskey Fill Road but still within the Valemount Industrial Park.

Many residents have complained that the current Telus tower serving the Valemount area has not been providing consistent and adequate service since the arrival of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project employees to the community.

“You can imagine the cellular bandwidth lag on their existing infrastructure with an immediate additional 600 residents in that area,” said Mayor Torgerson referring to the Trans Mountain worker accommodation camp which houses 560 workers south of Valemount.

Telus says having a reliable connection at home has become more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, but is also a safety issue as more than 70 per cent of all phone calls to 911 come from a cell phone.

The new location will improve cellular connectivity to residents in the Canoe Basin, Kinbasket Reservoir, Packsaddle Drainage, Hwy 5 South beyond Camp Creek and at the same time provide more cellular bandwidth throughout the entire Cedarside area, including the Trans Mountain worker accommodation camp said Mayor Torgerson.