photo: Broken phones by esteban, via flickr
I read an article this week that got me a little frustrated. To summarize, the residents of 150 Mile House have organized a petition to convince Telus (our ILEC) to provide high-speed service. They describe a chicken-and-egg situation, where subscribers will not pay for a low-speed ISP, and Telus doesn't have enough subscribers to justify the infrastructure upgrade. (Incidentally, they also mention Horsefly as also suffering from a critical mass.)
At no point do they mention the NetworkBC programme, or BCWireless (our ISP). I mentioned it before as it allowed us to move here. Availability of high-speed was a stipulation on our purchase offer, as my job depends on it.
This, to me, is probably just a righthand-lefthand schism. Telus, as a partner in the programme, should have pointed out that BCWireless has excellent coverage in Horsefly (albeit line-of-sight only) and could possibly roll out similarly in 150 Mile House. (I've heard recently that another ISP is offering a similar service in Big Lake.)
However, a suspicion has arisen in me. BCWireless's web site is a little out of date, and indicates that a 150 Mile House roll-out is planned. However, if you view the more current PDF, that no longer appears to be the case.
But it seems the infrastructure's there: Telus's own published roll-out schedule states this has already occured, as does their interactive-but-poorly-designed map.
As I understand it, the NetworkBC agreement assured that participants would not have to worry about competing against Telus. With no other ISP listed, is Telus now the only potential high-speed ISP for the 150?
To possibly reinforce this suspicion, let's considerer that Telus is also a wireless vendor who would happily provide users with higher-cost-to-the-subscriber/lower-cost-to-the-vendor (no last-mile worries) wireless high-speed. Telus Mobility has excellent coverage throughout the Hwy 97 corridor, which is where 150 Mile House lies.
Therefore, I believe that although it's far more likely Telus' PR people don't know what is actually happening in the world of high-speed internet (or they would have happily touted how much they are helping), there's a possibility they are planning to roll out a residential wireless high-speed service to through Telus Mobility and aren't ready to talk about it.