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Cell phone tower slated for southern Slocan Valley

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

There is a plan in the works to place a Telus cell phone tower in the southern part of the Slocan Valley, the communications giant confirmed this week.

Shawn Hall of Telus Communications Ltd. in Vancouver said the West Kootenay is on the “radar screen” and they are working to acquire several sites to place towers and improve wireless coverage in the area, he said, including south Slocan Valley where there currently is no service.

“We’ve been hearing from the communities around the West Kootenay that people want more wireless coverage and we’re responding,” he said.

Currently the company has representatives out in the field trying to find some good sites to get wireless towers in.

A Telus official in Nelson said a cell phone tower would be going in the southern part of the Slocan Valley — originally slated for this spring — but it has been delayed.

In 2011, Telus planned to expand its 4G wireless network in the rural parts of BC, installing about 76 new cell sites to bring service to even more rural communities and highway corridors.

A cell phone tower sparked intense community debate and a referendum — that did not pass — two years ago on whether a cell phone tower would be located in the mid part of the Slocan Valley near New Denver.

However, the community's wishes were overturned and Telus announced last year it would be putting a tower in the area.

Telus investing $500,000 in Nelson

Faster Internet speed will be the hallmark of the $500,000 investment Telus will be making in Nelson this year to further expand and enhance its wireless and wireline networks.

In 2011, Telus is expected to invest in its Optik TV and high-speed Internet services as it lays thousands of kilometers of fibre optic lines to support growing demand in the West Kootenay.

The company will also deliver better access to faster wireless broadband services by installing almost 80 new cell sites — many of them in the West Kootenay — and introducing HSPA+ Dual Cell technology.

editor@thenelsondaily.com