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British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, left, and Telus Corp. President and CEO Darren Entwistle share a laugh before he announced a $1-billion investment to connect the majority of homes and businesses in Vancouver directly to a gigabit fibre optic network, during a company event in Vancouver, B.C.Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Telus is expected to announce a nearly $1-billion fibre-optic infrastructure upgrade in Vancouver on Friday, one the city believes will help build its brand as an emerging North American technology hub, The Globe and Mail has learned.

It is part of a $4-billion investment in new infrastructure and facilities that Telus is making across British Columbia through 2018.

Dubbed Project Falcon, the new high-speed network has a bandwidth that is limitless and because it is constructed out of glass is not susceptible to corrosion or interruptions due to harsh weather the way wiring using copper was, according to the company.

"This is a major boon for the city," a source close to the project said. "This is going to be a major upgrade that will help advance a number of other infrastructure projects that the city currently has on the go."

The new network will be able to move information at extremely high speeds, which will have benefits for both business and residential users. The technology is similar to one used in a $2-billion technology upgrade that Telus recently conducted throughout Alberta. The national telecommunications company says the new network incorporates the world's fastest wireless technology.

Telus has invested more than $47-billion in B.C. since 2000, most of it in new infrastructure and facilities.

The announcement Friday is anticipated to attract B.C. Premier Christy Clark and a coterie of cabinet ministers, as well as Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and key members of city council. While the city has been working with Telus on this deal for some time, it's uncertain what role, if any, the province played behind the scenes.

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