Historic moment: Quebec’s Lower North Shore digitally transformed with the deployment of TELUS high speed network

Thanks to new innovative TELUS high speed connectivity, families and businesses between Blanc-Sablon and Pakua Shipu now have access to the tools they need to reach their full potential

Pakua Shipu QC – Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord Region, Jonathan Julien and members of the Innu community and TELUS joined local representatives of the Lower North Shore in Pakua Shipu today to celebrate the beginning of a new digital era in the region. For the first time and thanks to an innovation based on LTE Advanced technology, families and businesses from the communities of Brador, Middle Bay, Pakua Shipu, Saint-Augustin and Old Fort now have access to wireless phone services and can browse the Internet at similar speeds as those in urban areas.

“The Prime Minister made a clear commitment, stating that in 2019, access to high-speed Internet and cellular phone services is not a luxury, but a necessity. This connection fosters the vitality of northern communities and supports a stronger regional economy. In addition to improving the quality of life of the local population, TELUS’ high-performance network implemented on the Lower North Shore will better equip public institutions and support the development of local businesses. This will be the focus of our government until all Quebecers have access to high-quality digital infrastructure. In 2019, calling the North home should not mean isolation”, explains Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region.

“At TELUS, our ambition is to bridge the digital divide and give everyone an equal chance to prosper, no matter their circumstances or where they live, by expanding our network coverage to reach the most remote places in Quebec and Canada,” explains François Gratton, Group President, TELUS and Chair, TELUS Québec. “We are leveraging the ingenuity of our team and our award-winning networks to build one of our most complex and biggest digital infrastructure projects north of the 49th parallel. This new connectivity in the Lower North Shore will enable its residents to be all connected for good, ensuring the growth of local businesses by taking advantage of digital opportunities. It means health care workers can further use technologies to provide valuable care, and it gives villages a powerful tool to attract new teachers, professionals and families.”

This is the first milestone of an important high speed wireless Internet deployment in the vast and roadless Lower North Shore territory which is possible through a joint investment of more than $23 million by the provincial and federal governments, and by TELUS. This is a true digital breakthrough for the Lower North Shore which will reduce isolation and depopulation, bring enhanced speeds for entertainment and business and connect the region, its health centres and its schools to the rest of the world.

“It’s a bridge to the future that TELUS and the governments are building for the Pakua Shipu Innu community as well as the entire Lower North Shore,” adds Denis Mestenapéo, Pakua Shipu band council chief. “In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it is a historical moment. The new connectivity will help us preserve our traditions, which are so important, while giving us access to invaluable digital tools to share our rich culture.”

One of TELUS largest, most complex digital infrastructure projects north of the 49th parallel

To provide high-speed connectivity services to the remote communities of the Lower North Shore in a timely and cost-effective way, TELUS is drawing on LTE Advanced world-class wireless technology. The service is powered by a mixed IP backbone network combining 200 kilometers of lightning-fast fibre optics and one of the largest and most technologically advanced microwave radio systems deployed in the world. In addition to providing 5,000 residents and local businesses with access to high-speed connections at home and at work, the LTE Advanced network will enhance connectivity and security on the go thanks to wireless mobile services. The chosen technology is best suited to serve the challenging and roadless territory of the Lower North Shore, stretching along 400 km of coastline. Equipment was brought in by boat and helicopter, and teams traveled by all-terrain vehicles to build and activate remote sites.

The Blanc-Sablon and Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon communities will be connected to the new network in the next few weeks, and St. Paul’s River will be next in early 2020. TELUS will continue deploying its high speed network next year in the villages between Kegaska and La Tabatière. In addition, 16 public institutions, including schools and health care centres, will be directly connected to fibre optics, which is the fastest technology in the world. TELUS expects to reach all 1,750 families and nearly 100 businesses in all Lower North Shore communities by 2021, which is nearly a year ahead of the date that was initially shared by TELUS. The company is also opening one of its most remote stores in Canada in Blanc-Sablon, consolidating its local presence for years to come.

__About TELUS __

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $14.6 billion in annual revenue and 14.5 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. We leverage our global-leading technology to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. TELUS Health is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers the most innovative business process solutions to some of the world’s most established brands.

Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all Canadians for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired our team members and retirees to contribute more than $700 million and 1.3 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com, follow us @TELUSNews on Twitter and @Darren_Entwistle on Instagram.

Jacinthe Beaulieu TELUS Media Relations 418-318-6102 jacinthe.beaulieu@telus.com