5 – 3777 Kingsway
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5H 3Z7
Fraser Pajak604.695.3555 Telephone
Member of the TELUS email@example.com
May 27, 2011
Dear Mr. Rankin,
I am in receipt of your letter that outlines your concerns about the survivability of TELUS’ landline service and the landline service issues that affected Saturna Island property owners during this past winter’s weather-related power outages. The TELUS team takes all service interruptions very seriously and we have completed a thorough review to ensure TELUS and our infrastructure partners take all possible actions to reduce the likelihood of any future issues.
Saturna Island receives landline voice service through remote exchanges in two separate locations on the Island.? These offices carry your landline signals via microwave radio to an exchange in Victoria. Your radio-based landline service, which hosts approximately 300 to 400 residents during the winter months, is very robust and technical outages are rare.
In the event of an electrical outage, both Island-based exchanges have battery backup capacity that is substantially higher than any other rural area TELUS services, with an operational limit estimated between 24 to 30 hours (compared to the typical 4 to 8 hours). The loss of power for more than 30 hours will cause an outage. As you documented in your letter, we experienced two such outages this past winter.
As you know, the relative remote nature of Saturna Island means you are also challenged by BC Ferries service during a storm, which makes it difficult for BC Hydro to access and restore power to Island residents in a timely manner. For TELUS, shuttling portable generators around the Gulf Islands during extended power outages is further limited by these same challenges. Unfortunately, installing a permanent generator on the Island or adding more battery capacity is cost prohibitive at this time.
While our landline infrastructure is affected by lengthy power outages, our TELUS mobility network shares a generator with a partner company and as such power outages lasting beyond 30 hours are not an issue. In your letter you highlight the challenge of charging a mobile phone. I would like to suggest some options foir the residents of Saturna Island such as; home based generators, car chargers, extra batteries for emergency, turning your cell on/off only when critical calling is required.
As a next step, TELUS would like to work in partnership with the Saturna Island property owner’s association to request an increase in service levels from BC Hydro and help reprioritize their Gulf Islands restoration map.
We understand TELUS landline service is integral to Saturna Island’s residents. You have my personal commitment TELUS will work with you, your association and our infrastructure partners to address your ongoing service level needs. I will be in touch with you in the coming weeks to move forward with identifying opportunities together.
Vice-president, National Service Infrastructure Support