The Westham Island Bridge.

Connecting Canadians

Westham Island's journey to high-speed internet

Jul 17, 2023

Westham Island, located within the City of Delta, British Columbia, is celebrated for its thriving agricultural landscape and renowned bird sanctuary. 

Now there is one more way to enjoy the island. Following a funding partnership between TELUS and the Government of B.C., TELUS PureFibre® allows access to the fastest speeds available to Westham Island residents, visitors and businesses.

The enhanced connectivity – connecting more than 130 households and businesses with high-speed internet services exceeding 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads – promises a multitude of benefits: from better access to healthcare, emergency services, education and business solutions to stronger opportunities for economic development.

Connecting for Success

Minister Beare, Mayor Harvie and TELUS team members having a conversation.

Left to right: Hon. Lisa Beare, B.C. Minister of Citizens' Services; George V. Harvie, Mayor of Delta; Jill McKnight, Executive Director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce; and Shazia Zeb Sobani, Vice-President of Network Customer Planning. Photo via: Tyler Garnham.

For Dave and Wendie Elliott, residents of Westham Island, reliable internet connection is essential for fueling their productivity. Prior to 2022, the island lacked dependable access to high-speed internet, posing challenges for staying connected.

"Our high-speed internet connection is a game-changer," said Wendie. "Dave heavily relies on it for work, and any disruption impacts his work negatively. Remote work is now convenient and highly productive, allowing Dave to avoid daily two-hour commutes when possible. Our reliable internet connection has truly transformed the way we work."

This new-found convenience has also had an impact on their overall quality of life. 

“I don’t have to wait long periods of time for buffering, slow downloads, or uploads,” Wendie explained, "We've reclaimed valuable time, allowing us to focus on what truly matters."

We've reclaimed valuable time, allowing us to focus on what truly matters.

- Wendie Elliott, Resident of Westham Island

Darin Wong, Manager at TELUS and Hon. Lisa Beare, B.C. Minister of Citizens' Service; Minister Beare, Mayor Harvie and TELUS team members having a conversation.

(Left) Darin Wong, Manager at TELUS, Hon. Lisa Beare, B.C. Minister of Citizens' Service; (Right) Mayor Harvie, Minister Beare, and TELUS team members having a conversation. Photo via: Tyler Garnham.

Affordability has also improved for the Elliotts as they can now consolidate their services through PureFibre. "Before, we had multiple services and data plans with fees and payments to different providers," Wendie shared. "But with PureFibre, we've been able to simplify our expenses, making connectivity much more affordable for us."

In line with efforts to enable more British Columbians to thrive in the digital world, The Honourable Lisa Beare, B.C. Minister of Citizens' Services, reaffirmed her commitment for expanding connectivity in the province. 

"Our goal is to connect every rural, remote, and Indigenous community in British Columbia by 2027. This will provide the residents of Westham Island with access to quality high-speed internet services that'll help the community work and stay connected online,” she said.

The significance of reliable connectivity extends beyond individual households to sectors like  agriculture and fisheries, vital industries in Westham Island. It enables them to leverage advanced technologies, access information and stay connected to markets.

"Increasing reliable, high-speed internet connectivity for Westham Island residents and businesses is important to the continued development of our agricultural communities," said Delta Mayor George V. Harvie.

TELUS team member and Minister Beare smiling. Minister Beare is holding up a cupcake with the TELUS logo on the icing, courtesy of Sugar Momma Cupcakes.

Left to right: Jessie Basi, Manager at TELUS, Hon. Lisa Beare, BC Minister of Citizens' Services. Minister Beare is holding up a cupcake, courtesy of Sugar Momma Cupcakes. Photo via: Tyler Garnham.

Though proud of their rural roots, community members here have consistently shown their determination to foster growth. The successful launch of TELUS PureFibre on Westham Island is a testament to the power of community advocacy. With residents vocal about their desire for improved connectivity, the City of Delta promptly provided a letter of support to TELUS, demonstrating their commitment to bridging the connectivity gap.

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

The arrival of PureFibre on Westham Island serves as a reminder that the need for connectivity transcends remote areas and extends to communities within major metropolitan regions. It underscores the ongoing efforts to ensure that every household and community in B.C. has access to reliable connectivity, fostering opportunities for all residents and businesses, regardless of their location.

"TELUS' investment has brought about a meaningful and positive change for this small, yet crucial annex of the City of Delta. Through the power of connectivity, Westham Island now stands poised to fully participate in the growing digital economy,” said Chris Pettypiece, Director of Capability Modernization at TELUS.