Got internet? If not, get in line

Increased demand for internet service in Burns Lake through Telus has saturated the physical network.

Increased demand for internet service in Burns Lake through Telus has saturated the physical network. New customers hoping to set up a high-speed internet connection are being told they will have to wait for ports to open in Burns Lake.

Ports are the physical location where home and business internet subscribers tap into the Telus network. Located in junction boxes, there are only so many ports to go around.

“It’s in flux on a daily basis,” said Liz Sauvé, Telus spokesperson. “If a customer discontinues service then a port may open up, but we have no way of predicting how long a person may have to wait in the meantime.”

Sauvé explained Telus is expediting putting in new junction boxes in Burns Lake to increase the number of ports available. They hope to have expanded service early in the new year or perhaps as soon as late December.

Customers waiting for service cannot be given specific dates as to when a port might become available. It depends on existing customers cancelling a service.

“We greatly appreciate our customers patience as we work to enhance capacity in the area,” Sauvé said.

Other options for internet access are USB ‘internet sticks’ which allow a subscriber to log on through a cellular signal.  Many smartphones offer an option to act as a wifi hub for wifi-enabled laptops or desktops, but users should be sure to understand their billing rates for data usage before switching on the service.

Omineca Cable also provides internet service locally, either as a stand-alone service or bundled with household cable.

Omineca reports no delays in providing service.

Telus recently inked an agreement with the Province of B.C. to be the choice provider of internet and wireless connectivity. Part of Telus’s agreement with the province was to expand service in rural areas of B.C., including the stretch of highway connecting Prince George to Prince Rupert.

The Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) has been tracking locations where poor or non-existent high speed internet and/or cell service exists throughout the region. Data collected will be sent to Network BC, who is working to improve rural internet access and cell service.


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