Telus to add another data centre this year

Data centre hosting is such a good business for Telus that it’s adding another in its home province, one which the telco vows will be twice as energy efficient as any other server centre.

“It’s an area of our business that is successfully growing,” Shawn Hall, a company spokesman, said Tuesday as Telus announced a $2 billion capital expenditure program for this year. “We need more capacity.”

Of that, $500 million will be spent in British Columbia, where the telco will be adding its third data centre in the province, the 10th in the country. Other spending in the overall budget will include building IP networks in Ontario and Quebec for enterprises and National Defence.

This latest centre, which will be 1,858 sq. meters (200,000 sq. feet) will be designed to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria, mainly by the way the cooling system is designed, Hall said. The new centre “will be twice as energy efficient as anything out there today,” he said.

Hall didn’t detail exactly how Telus will accomplish that, but some experts say it may not take extraordinary technology


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The new data centre will be equipped in stages. When fully built-out in several years, it will employ 200 people.

The capital spending will also cover the new national LTE wireless network Telus and Bell are co-operating on, which the telcos plan to launch in “early 2010,” increasing existing cellular coverage and expansion of Telus landline broadband infrastructure in B.C. and Alberta.

The new cellular network will be Telus’ third, including its IDEN and CDMA-based systems.

Its launch time will be interesting. Globalive Wireless is talking about starting service late this year, although initially it will be aimed at people who don’t have a cellphone yet. Videotron plans to launch its service in Quebec and possibly the Toronto area by the end of the year or early next year. Both newcomers are expected to have LTE-based networks.

Another new wireless provider, Public Mobile, will run a CDMA-based network.

Telus’ landline spending will concentrate on expanding Fibre To The Node (FTTN), which so far has been focused on the lower B.C. mainland, Calgary and Edmonton. FTTN not only means the telco can offer the faster DSL Internet service to subscribers, it can also pitch its IPTV service. IPTV is the telco weapon for fighting cable TV companies, who are luring customers by offering cable-and-VoIP phone bundles.

The spending will also include Telus’ continuing investigation into the economies of Fibre To The Home (FTTH), which promise the ability to deliver the fastest broadband service. Unlike Verizon, which is spending some US$24 billion to bring fibre to the home in the U.S., Telus is only bring fibre to new multi-dwelling buildings such as condominiums and townhouses.

Expanding it to single homes is a matter of where and when it makes sense, Hall said. Telus is “looking for opportunities for both greenfield and brownfield expansion of fibre to the home on an experimental basis, figuring out what’s going to work for the next step of broadband development.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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