JULY 21, 2021

TELUS and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo investing $21 million to connect communities directly to the TELUS PureFibre optic network—dramatically increasing wireless and Internet speeds

Advanced TELUS PureFibre network will connect residents and businesses directly to gigabit Internet speeds while expanding cellular coverage throughout the region

Fort McMurray - Wood Buffalo, AB – TELUS and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are investing $21 million to connect Draper, Janvier, Fort McKay, Conklin, Anzac and Gregoire Lake Estates directly to the TELUS PureFibre optic network. Through this collaboration, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is contributing $13.2M to the project, representing one of the single largest partnerships between TELUS and a municipality to expand connectivity to benefit local residents and businesses. This commitment is part of TELUS’ $14.5 billion investment in infrastructure and operations across Alberta through 2024 to further support the province throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recovery. Construction on the PureFibre network is expected to start in the Spring of 2022, and TELUS anticipates more than 90% of homes and businesses will be connected by the end of 2023.

“TELUS is proud to make this generational investment in Wood Buffalo, providing the technology to connect citizens to loved ones, as well as vital resources and information as we continue to navigate the global pandemic,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “Now more than ever, TELUS is committed to keeping our citizens and communities connected and productive through our globally leading wireless network, underpinned by our award winning TELUS PureFibre infrastructure that provides the backbone for our 5G-enabled world. Indeed, across Alberta, the ongoing expansion of our broadband networks, ubiquitously deployed, are bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in any community without compromising productivity or economic opportunity. As we look ahead with optimism to a period of social and economic recovery, our investments are enabling more Albertans with world-best connectivity to work, learn, socialize, access entertainment and transact safely and effectively from their homes.”

As part of TELUS' commitment to Reconciliation and expanding our advanced broadband networks to more Indigenous communities, TELUS is further investing to connect Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, and Fort McKay First Nation to the TELUS PureFibre network. This project will also support improved connectivity to Métis communities including Conklin Métis, Fort McKay Métis Nation, Willow Lake Métis Nation, and Chard Métis.

This June, TELUS was named the fastest Internet service provider (ISP) in Canada by New York-based PCMag for the second consecutive year. The gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network is the largest 100 per cent pure fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) network in Western Canada, giving residents and businesses dramatically fast upload and download Internet speeds, which provides significant benefits for applications like video conferencing, working or learning remotely, gaming, and smart home security. For Canadians currently working from a home office, a PureFibre connection means upload speeds will not slow down the pace of business or lag during peak hours, and the rest of the family can simultaneously stream, play video games, and participate in online learning. 

Improving Internet access for rural residents and businesses has long been an important objective of the Municipality. In 2020, a Request for Proposal for the provision of rural broadband Internet Services was issued, and TELUS was the successful proponent.

“On behalf of Council I’m pleased to announce this major improvement in our Region’s rural Internet infrastructure. This investment and partnership will bring tremendous benefits to rural and Indigenous communities and provide exciting new opportunities for businesses and residents of all ages. The global pandemic demonstrated that reliable Internet access is a necessity in the modern age, and with these major improvements, residents will soon enjoy enhanced business and learning opportunities, social connectivity and more,” said Don Scott, Mayor of Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “The RMWB recognizes that Internet connectivity in Indigenous and rural communities is a critical tool for Reconciliation providing communities with the ability to foster cultural revitalization, cultural pride, develop internal economies, and provide access to social supports, enhancing the overall wellbeing of communities.”

Residents can expect to see TELUS trucks throughout their communities as construction begins next spring as the ground thaws. Once homes are connected, residents can immediately begin taking advantage of dramatically faster Internet speeds.

TELUS is also supporting small businesses through its second national #StandWithOwners initiative, investing $1 million to promote these vitally important organizations in 2021. Small business owners have demonstrated incredible strength and ingenuity as they pivoted and innovated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and TELUS is proudly supporting them with funding, localized advertising, and mentorship as they move forward. To apply, businesses can visit

Since 2000, TELUS, its team members and retirees have contributed more than $1.35 million and volunteered more than 9,000 hours in support of charities and community organizations located in Wood Buffalo, including the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.

These investments build upon TELUS’ continued commitment to bring world-class connectivity to communities across the province, providing the technological backbone for our economic recovery and strength well into the future. Since 2000, TELUS has invested nearly $240 billion nationally in network infrastructure, operations and spectrum, including more than $51 billion in technology and operations in Alberta. 

The investments announced in this media release are consistent with TELUS’ capital expenditure guidance for 2021, released in the fourth quarter of 2020 earnings release dated February 11, 2021.

Supporting quotes

“TELUS truly cares about their customers' needs during these hard times. Their dedication to the community can be seen by their work and investment in Wood Buffalo. TELUS is a company about keeping you and your family connected.”

  •   David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray-Cold Lake

“This is a fantastic demonstration of commitment and cooperation between TELUS and our local government, the RMWB to enhance internet access in our northern rural and remote communities.”

  •   Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo

“Connectivity is key to education, business, and social interactions in today’s connected world. Fibre Optic Internet connectivity to our community is a step towards equitable access – for our students, our entrepreneurs, and our entire community. Fort McKay First Nation is pleased to welcome TELUS to bring this essential infrastructure to our community.”

  • Chief Mel Grandjamb, Fort McKay First Nation 

“As a progressively developing First Nation Community, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation welcomes TELUS and the investment into building world-class communications infrastructure on reserve. Through connection to the PureFibre network, TELUS is opening doors to community members who will have increased opportunities for online training/education, improved healthcare & cultural programming, and economic opportunities. More members will have unrestricted access to online programming and opportunities to connect with friends, family and relations from all over the world. These are essential improvements and will enhance quality of life to our members, residents, visitors, and business owners for years to come. With many Elders’ joining the digital world, it is vital to offer a secure, reliable high-speed connection so they are included in all events and activities from the comfort of home. 

  • Fort McMurray #468 First Nation

“Affordable rural high-speed has been something our community has been working towards for years.  There is no question that affordable high-speed is a bridge to the future for everyone.  But its effects for students, business and people with family in other places will be transformative.” 

  • Ron Quintal, President, Fort McKay Métis Nation

“This is a game changer for Conklin. High-speed to every home and business will be transformative to our community. When the project is complete, everyone in the community will have access to the work, education, health-care and the communications benefits that high-speed brings. We will be plugged into this world.” 

  • Val Quintal, Conklin Resource Development Advisory Committee

“During this unprecedented time of crisis, TELUS’ long standing support has enabled the Wood Buffalo Food Bank to support those most vulnerable in our community. Through their support the WBFB is able to support our community members who are at risk of food insecurity ensuring that everyone in Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo can access the services they need to have access to food security support, keeping their families safe and nourished.”

  • Dan Edwards, Executive Director, Wood Buffalo Food Bank

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains statements about future events and plans that are forward-looking, including relating to TELUS’ infrastructure investment plans. By their nature, forward-looking statements require TELUS to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors (such as regulatory decisions and developments, the competitive environment in which we operate, our operating and financial results and our ability to carry out financing activities) could cause actual capital and operating expenditures to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.

Accordingly, this news release and the forward-looking statements made in it are subject to the cautionary note and qualified by the assumptions, qualifications and risk factors referred to in TELUS’ 2018 and first quarter 2019 Management’s discussion and analysis, which are incorporated by reference herein, and in other TELUS public disclosure documents and filings with securities commissions in Canada (on SEDAR at sedar.com) and in the United States (on EDGAR at sec.gov). Forward-looking statements describe TELUS’ expectations and are based on our assumptions as at the date of this press release and are subject to change. Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion 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. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.

Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.

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