Telus’s $3 million plan to bring fibre optic cable to Summerland is one of several recent initiatives to improve Internet service in the community.
The announcement follows an initiative by Shaw to set up free wireless Internet access points around Summerland.
In both cases, the service upgrades are necessary as the Internet becomes an increasingly important information and communications tool.
British Columbia has the highest rate of Internet use in Canada, with 86 per cent of the population connected, according to Statistics Canada data from 2010, the most recent figures available.
Those under 45 had the highest rate of use. Among those 65 to 74 years of age, more than half go online and among those 75 and older, more than one in four are Internet users.
In addition to finding information and communicating with others, banking and shopping are also becoming increasingly important for online users.
The value of online transactions in Canada can be measured in the billions of dollars.
In some cases, transactions are easier to conduct online than in person.
It is reasonable to expect more transactions and interactions will take place online in the future.
What this means for our community is that it is increasingly important to offer access and a reliable Internet service.
The announcements by Shaw and Telus address these needs.
The fibre optics service upgrade and the community wireless Internet access points will become increasingly necessary simply to keep up with our growing Internet use and with the increasing demand for faster and more convenient service.