MARCH 26, 2019

$95 million investment to bridge the digital divide in 80 remote communities from Eastern Quebec

34,000 more families and businesses will have direct access to TELUS PureFibre; a new high-speed network will be built across the vast Lower North Shore, about 10 wireless sites will be installed across Eastern Quebec
Rimouski, QC – TELUS announced today an investment of $95 million in its wireless and fibre optic networks across rural communities in Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec. This investment includes a financial contribution of $25.7 million from the federal Connect to Innovate and provincial Québec branché programs, accelerating the deployment of TELUS’ ultra-high-speed and fibre optic networks to reach 34,000 new families and businesses in 80 remote communities. TELUS is literally building a bridge to the future for residents, businesses, and service providers, giving them the tools to innovate locally, compete globally and deliver better health, education and social outcomes.
“Our 6,000 team members in Quebec eagerly tackle every technological hurdle when deploying high-speed networks in Quebec’s remote areas to bridge the digital divide,” said François Gratton, Group President, TELUS, and Chair, TELUS Québec. “We believe every family and business should have an equal opportunity to prosper in our increasingly dynamic digital society no matter where they live. As we evolve toward the age of 5G technology, rest assured that we will continue to pursue our accelerated investments in every corner of Quebec, and we're pleased to do so jointly with government programs and incentive measures that foster investment.”
“We are investing $175 million in our networks across Quebec this year, and more than a half is entirely devoted to the rural communities of our incumbent territory in Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec,” said Marie-Christine D’Amours, TELUS Vice President, Consumer and Small Business Solutions and Quebec Customer Experience. “TELUS Québec was born 90 years ago thanks to the innovative spirit of great local pioneers who had the dynamism of our remote regions at heart, and we want to continue their legacy. Whether by paving the way toward the evolution of smart homes, enhancing access to healthcare and learning opportunities for youth or by enabling local businesses to seize the opportunities of the digital age, our networks play a crucial role in our priority to put customers first.”
Between 2013 and 2021, TELUS will have invested more than $300 million to expand its PureFibre network in the eastern part of Quebec with $72 million in support from the federal and provincial governments. Within the next two years, the company plans to offer direct fibre access to 93 per cent of Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec residents. More specifically, the $95 million in investments for 2019 will make it possible to realize the following initiatives:
  • PureFibre network: TELUS will deploy its PureFibre network to homes and businesses in more than 70 remote and low-density communities in the RCM (Regional community municipalities) of des Chenaux, Côte-de-Gaspé, Haute-Côte-Nord, Haute-Gaspésie, L’Islet/Montmagny, Matapédia, Mitis, Mékinac, Portneuf and Sept-Rivières. By the end of this year, 89 per cent of households which is more than 250 000 families and businesses - will have direct access to fibre which is the world’s best and fastest Internet technology. Significantly, it gives access to symmetrical upload and download speeds, which are crucial with the growing popularity of online applications, such as videogames, sharing large files, virtual healthcare, and the use of smart devices.
  • Lower North Shore: TELUS will begin one of the largest digital infrastructure projects north of the 49th parallel. For the very first time, the communities of Blanc-Sablon, Middle Bay, Pakuashipi, Rivière-Saint-Paul, Saint-Augustin and Vieux Fort will have access to high-speed Internet and LTE mobile phone service. Deployment of the network over this vast area of 14 communities is being done in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments and will continue in 2020. This project will deliver a 40-fold expansion in bandwidth available to hundreds of families and businesses in the area.
  • Wireless network: TELUS will enhance the coverage, speed and reliability of its wireless network by upgrading its infrastructure with the latest LTE and small-cell technologies. The organization will also add about ten new sites in the next months, including in the RCM of Beauce-Sartigan, Manicouagan and Sept-Rivières.
TELUS has invested more than $175 billion in infrastructure and operations across Canada since 2000, and will additionally invest approximately $40 billion over the next three years, for a total of $215 billion. In Quebec, $24.7 billion were invested over the last two decades, and TELUS plans to additionally invest approximately $5 billion in its infrastructure and operations over the next three years, for a total of close to $30 billion. The investments made to date have ensured that more than 99 per cent of Canadians have access to TELUS’ world-class 4G LTE, which has earned global recognition as the best in Canada from third party organizations including OpenSignal, J.D. Power, PCMag, Tutela and Ookla.
Bridging divides through giving
Winner of the 2018 Mercure prize for “Engagement within the Investors Group”, TELUS is committed to giving, and to lending a helping hand to charities in the Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec regions. In the past five years, TELUS, its team, and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation have donated and sponsored more than $11 million to hundreds of local organizations in Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec, including the Association du cancer de l’Est du Québec, Centres de pédiatrie sociale de Nouvelle-Beauce, Haute-Gaspésie and Côte-de-Gaspé and the École de musique de la Côte-Nord. TELUS, its team members and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation will continue supporting local community-based organizations in 2019 with a $2 million commitment to support the local community.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Canada, with $14.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.4 million customer connections, including 9.2 million wireless subscribers, 1.9 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.2 million residential network access lines and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communication products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video as well as home and business security. TELUS is also the biggest IT service provider in Canadian healthcare, and its subsidiary TELUS International offers business solutions on a global scale.
In support of our philosophy to “give where we live”, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $650 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.21 million days of service to local communities since 2000. Established in 2005 by TELUS President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS Canada’s 13 Community Boards and five boards abroad direct activities to support local charitable organizations. These committees have provided $72 million in support to 7,000 local projects dedicated to enriching the lives of more than two million children and youths each year.
TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
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For further information, please contact:
Jacinthe Beaulieu
TELUS Media Relations
(418) 318-6102
[email protected]