About once a month or so, a Telus (T.T) representative will call my cellphone to inquire if I’d like to upgrade my pre-existing service to include everything they offer at the highest rate and speed they can possibly give it to me. They always seem to do this at the most inopportune times too, when I’m quietly dying a slow respiratory death on the stair-stepper at the gym or when I’m pulling a small slimy kitten worth of hair out of a shower drain. Those times I call back. When they merely catch me coming out of the shower or in mid-bite of my dinner, I try to save the poor call centre drone the average handle time by asking him one simple question:

“Do you have fibre optic in my area?”

Relieved, he excuses himself from the call for a moment and clicks on his keyboard, and comes back with the answer, which to date has been no. The estimated time of arrival for fibre isn’t even on the docket—mostly because the fatcats at city hall where I live haven’t gotten their cut yet, but how I know that is a different story—and I tell him to call back when he does.

So while my quest to get fibre optic internet in my house continues, the people of Bury St Edmunds in England can rest assured that Lite Access Technologies (LTE.V) has mobilized field crews to provide fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) installation to almost everyone there.

The contract is worth $13 million over two years, and was awarded to the company by CityFibre on January 22, 2020. Recently, CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, revealed that it’s going to be extended its £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme to 36 more locations, which will target up to 8 million premises.

“At a distance of approximately 75km from our current works in Lowestoft, it should not be surprising that the close proximity to Bury St Edmunds allows us to maximize productivity and benefit from greater operational efficiency for these major fibre infrastructure builds. We are very proud to be selected as a network construction partner of CityFibre as the towns and cities it rolls out fibre to under its Gigabit City Investment Programme benefit from superior broadband connectivity. We expect to be successful in meeting performance measures at both locations and, given the accelerated pace and scale of the programme, the opportunities to the company through this relationship are sizeable and we intend to leverage available resources to scale-up and capture additional business going forward,” said Carlo Shimoon, President & CEO of Lite Access.

Fibre optic internet is considered better because it sends data faster than basic cable on a dedicated line, even during peak usage times, and it’s generally thought to be more reliable. Remember when it would take all night to download a picture from a 58K baud modem? How about when we were all illegally downloading music from Napster and we’d get all of Metallica’s catalogue within two days? Fibre optic lets you pirate your favourite software (not that we do that anymore. Tsk) in minutes.

Here’s a handy comparison chart:

fibre optic

Source: bitco.co.za

CityFibre will award more another 1.5 billion in network construction contracts for the newly announced full city builds. Awards will be granted by July, enabling the winners to start mobilizing their workforces to get the network construction under way in the announced cities by the end of 2020. The 5 million home rollout will create more than 5,000 construction jobs across the UK and stimulate local economic growth in the region of £85 billion.

Meanwhile, back in New Westminster, I’m still stuck downloading my copies of whatever I want in hours, instead of minutes. I know I know. Poor baby.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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fibre optics
Gigabit City Investment Programme
internet connectivity
Lite Access Technologies
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