Saturday, Dec 16, 2017 



Telus Wants the Money Up Front

Ryder Lake residents' battle for high speed connectivity

By Susan Van Luyn


ELUS normally plans their builds 5 – 10 years ahead.  There are no plans to bring Purefibre to Ryder Lake – at all.  It can only be done, custom, with the already proposed contribution from the Ryder Lake Community.
Once paid, the build could possibly start as quickly as 6 months after the contract is signed.  The specific date would depend on how they were able to move other builds around, in order to make us a priority.
The install, if it were to go ahead, is NOT on a “per home” basis, it would be available to the entire community of 373+ homes …every single one who gives TELUS permission to “drop” cable on their property (whether they contributed to the 580K or not)…and includes all the way to each home, not just at the road. 
Just because you give TELUS permission to install Purefibre cable on your property, does not mean you have to purchase services (ie: phone, TV or internet).  In fact, it sounds like there are no “contracts” anymore. Services can be purchased, changed, or cancelled at any time.
These permissions will be accepted online, possibly by mail or phone, and in-person.
Because of the “proprietary” nature and custom offer of our build, TELUS cannot put these answers in writing, as this is unique to our community and should not be compared with other builds.
There will be no “discounts” on services purchased/provided.  The “discounted payback period” mentioned in our proposal letter was in reference to an accounting term used internally for TELUS calculations.   It has to do with their capital budgeting procedures…regarding when THEY will get paid back for their investment.
The proposal letter states “would consider building the network” if the community comes up with the $.  “Consider” suggests the decision is not there a chance that even if we come up with the $, TELUS might not do the build?  Answer: the word “consider” is used to legally protect TELUS, just in case something huge and significant changes, and they are not able to do the build.  The chances of that happening are incredibly small.  IF it did happen, our $ would be refunded 100%.
“The estimated contribution amount quoted takes into account the average number of subscribers…”  The contribution amount was not calculated based on 223 interested homes.  It was calculated based on an average, using an Economic Model, including the estimated total cost of the build and the 373 households in the community.
The legal contract to be signed sounds like a simple, point form document, which outlines what TELUS is responsible for (what we will get) and what we as a community are responsible for, ie: what we are paying.  It will be signed by one community champion, on behalf of the entire community.
“The final decision to build and schedule would depend on TELUS’ capital expense investment profile & prioritization process ….” This statement is simply a disclaimer to protect TELUS, just in case something major changes.  It will not, however, change the cost they quoted us.  Even if they start the build, get into the ground, then determine it’s going to be way more expensive than they thought, we will still only pay the original price. 
There are significantly higher costs to bury their cable.  Our community will require approx. 25% of the cable to be buried, and approx. 75% will be in the air.  We have huge lots, with many houses being acres apart, which will require more fibre cable and significantly more labour than their normal builds.  That’s why it is so expensive.
Regarding grants, TELUS can help with support regarding lobbying local governments.  As a community, we should be looking into anything that is available for communications and infrastructure at the municipal, provincial and even federal levels.  The Fraser Valley Regional District was mentioned, as well as Gas Tax Funding > Federal, getting a not-for-profit status, grants re: Women & Technology > federal, enquiring with the mayor’s office, or possibly even some type of corporate sponsors. 
Health & Safety concerns are our strongest points:  Security can be challenging because some alarm companies have said they can’t monitor their systems, AND there are people up here who use sleep apnea devices that are monitored remotely.  Some cannot have their devices monitored, because their network does not have coverage.  Instead, they have to drive their devices to Abbotsford, for feedback and adjustments after the fact.  Also, people involved in car accidents up here have had to hike to the nearest home to use their landline, because their cell phones did not have reception.  Imagine if someone was seriously injured and could not walk!?
Specifics on services, costs and bundling can be found at  …please ensure you reference “Chilliwack”, as the TELUS price system is changing and the Chilliwack page has already been updated to reflect the correct new prices for our area.
Most expensive service: $290 per month for everything.  Average package most people purchase is $145 and includes 250 meg + a modest package of TV channels.  (Right now my husband and I pay $250 per month for TV plus terrible internet, so we would save $100 per month, meaning we’d be paid back in approx. 2 years, IF WE GET NO GRANTS.  Some people up here have reported paying $200 - $800 per month just for their internet!
Once again, our properties will be more sellable and have a higher value if we have reliable services up here.  Some people have moved off the hill due to poor service, some have backed out of purchasing once they found out how limited internet & cell phone coverage is. 
Final notes: Fibre services are 10-20% cheaper.  Fibre has a much longer lifespan than copper cable, is stronger and faster.  TELUS will be 100% responsible for maintaining and repairing the Purefibre system.  TELUS has a partner loyalty program with reward points (like airmiles etc.) which might also help offset the personal cost of their services a little ($ back in our pockets).
I would think the only questions now, should be: if those who are interested will proceed and how we will pursue grants and fundraising.  Those not interested, for whatever reason, will simply not give permission to install.  We do not need to hear arguments.


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