Work progresses on fibre-optic line

·2 min read

Officials overseeing the installation of a high-speed fibre-optic line up the Slocan Valley to Nakusp say they’re making good progress on the Playmor-Slocan portion of the line.

Even the trail closure for a day last week where the crew was working because of the Trozzo Creek wildfire hasn’t affected the installer’s progress.

“Approximately 80% of the civil work on this segment has been completed to date,” Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation spokesperson Delphi Hoodicoff wrote in an email to the Valley Voice. “Upcoming work includes fibre splicing along the completed sections, which will be happening in the fall.”

Construction work began earlier this summer on the $10 million project, which will see a 120-kilometre fibre line installed from Playmor Junction in the south to a few kilometres past Nakusp. A branch line is also being considered from Nakusp south to Edgewood.

Work was delayed and the project completion date was set back after permitting for the project took longer than expected. The line will run along the bottom of Slocan and Summit Lakes, and through sensitive environmental or archaeological sites. The CBBC also has to cut a deal with Telus to allow use of their poles to carry the line overland from Hills to Nakusp.

“Permitting as well as environmental and habitat considerations are also a factor and drive certain requirements/scheduling for construction, but we expect work in these sections to begin sometime in the fall,” Hoodicoff says.

Also still uncertain is the result of funding applications to the federal government to support ‘last mile’ installation – getting the fibre-optic backbone connected to community internet providers, and into people’s homes.

Still, work is moving along well enough that officials say it “may allow us to complete the project sooner” than the March 2023 target date.

Crews are currently working a few kilometres south of the Village of Slocan, near Gravel Pit Road. Weekly updates are provided via the Slocan Valley Rail Trail Society’s Facebook page regarding work zones.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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