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Connecting Canadians

Five reasons to get excited as copper retires

Mar 21, 2023

All good things continue to evolve – transforming into something better.

That’s the case with the copper lines that have, for decades, served as the telecommunications infrastructure for many homes and buildings. While these lines have helped connect millions of homes to telephones and the internet, they’re more expensive, environmentally unfriendly and less resilient than fibre-optic cable, which is quickly becoming TELUS’ primary communications delivery mechanism across the country.

Over the coming years, TELUS will replace aging copper wires in B.C., Alberta and Quebec with PureFibre, delivering lightning-fast internet, through its copper retirement program. This service will deliver far faster and more reliable connectivity to homes, businesses and other buildings in your community. Once the new network is installed, customers can call TELUS to get transferred to the TELUS PureFibre network, where they’ll immediately notice faster speeds, and more reliable and resilient internet.

For more information about TELUS PureFibre® in Quebec read more here.

For more information about TELUS PureFibre® in B.C. and Alberta read more here.

There are plenty of reasons why people should embrace fibre optic. Here are the top five:

Faster speeds

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Fibre-optic cables, which are thin flexible strands of transparent glass, transmit information as pulses of light. That allows huge amounts of data to travel across a network in mere seconds. Old copper wires have limitations. They can allow for high speeds – even 10s of gigabytes per second – but only over short distances. Copper simply loses too much of the data over distance, some areas are so far away they can get less than 1 Mbps. The big benefit of fibre-optic cables is their efficiency. They can transfer today up to 55 terabits per second across a network, with far more capability available in the future.

In other words, PureFibre will make it much easier to work from home, have your kids and their many friends play video games at the same time, watch an endless amount of movies and streaming shows, and connect with family overseas with video calling. Faster internet speeds also help businesses increase their productivity and efficiency, now and into the future as fibre acts as the backbone to an exciting new generation of connected devices and services.

Increased reliability

Fibre-optic strands may be as thin as a human hair, but are incredibly durable. The strands don’t degrade and they’re extremely weather resistant. Specifically, fibre-optic cables are more robust against water and are also physically stronger than copper cables of the same size and are not susceptible to interference.

Copper has withstood the test of time well, too, but this new technology will hold up even better, especially in more challenging weather events. That means there’s less of a need to repair or replace fibre-optic infrastructure, which means fewer service disruptions for you and your community.

Improved sustainability

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One of the biggest reasons why TELUS and its customers are embracing fibre optics is that it’s a more sustainable technology than copper, making it Canada’s most sustainable internet technology. For starters, it takes less energy to send data over fibre than it does with copper wires. At the same time, fibre optic cables are made from silicon dioxide, which is one of the most abundant elements on the planet and is typically found in rocks, sand and water. On our network, TELUS PureFibre is up to 85 percent more energy efficient than copper wires. All this helps to support TELUS’ commitment to improving its energy efficiency by 50 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030.

All Canadians deserve resilient and reliable high-speed internet access to connect them to what matters most.

Better for customers

The evolution of copper to fibre-optic technology brings with it many benefits to you, the customer. Not only does fibre require fewer repairs and have less interruptions than legacy copper networks, but, like copper, TELUS PureFibre also allows customers to be in the driver's seat with the ability to self-install and self-serve to make programming changes and additions. And, as we move into a more connected world, the speed and reliability of fibre makes it easier to adopt next-generation products, such as wireless home phones, TELUS SmartHome Security and improved online security.

Circular economy

For more than a century, copper has been an incredibly effective and sturdy material for all kinds of uses, but especially wiring. Now the hard-working resource is contributing to the circular economy through the copper retirement program, ensuring millions of pounds of copper are recycled or repurposed, and offsetting the need to mine new copper sources. In fact, each ton of copper recycled displaces 2.8 tons of CO2 that would usually be emitted from open-pit mining and smelting. Moreover, depending on the amount of copper cable extracted, reclamation often contributes to community beautification by removing visible infrastructure, like boxes and wires, from neighbourhoods, and the proceeds from reclaimed copper can be used for other network updates and projects.

While copper has served your community well over many decades, with more innovative fibre-optic technology at the ready, it’s time to retire legacy networks and step into a faster and more environmentally friendly future. TELUS is contacting customers who are impacted by the copper retirement initiatives underway in your community. Find out more information on TELUS’ network evolution and the benefits of retiring the copper network by visiting TELUS.com/CopperRetirement.