TELUS improves safety along Highway 16 with new cellular connectivity
Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS has invested more than $1 million to build a new cell site along Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Terrace, bringing wireless connectivity to more than 20 kilometres of the highway. The new site is located approximately 60 kilometres west of Terrace, and brings coverage to an area that was previously one of the longest stretches of Highway 16 without any cellular service. TELUS provides coverage to more than 70 per cent of the highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George. Construction on this new cell tower was completed in December, connecting users to TELUS’ 4G LTE network, which has earned global recognition as the best network in Canada from third party organizations including Opensignal, J.D. Power, PC Mag, Tutela, and Ookla.
“Without question, all Canadians should have access to the transformative benefits of wireless connectivity, including the tools and resources to connect them to the people and information that matter most in their lives,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “Indeed, the introduction of our wireless service in remote areas of the province, including Indigenous communities, allows us to extend life-changing technology into some of our province’s historically underserved regions. This investment will ensure that residents and visitors alike can travel this stretch of highway with a sense of security, knowing they can call for assistance in the event of a roadside emergency. This connectivity is of critical importance, particularly during the treacherous winter conditions experienced in this part of our province. Moreover, our TELUS team shares the province’s vision of connecting the entirety of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, and we look forward to collaborating with our government to bring additional coverage to the area in the future.”
This investment is in addition to the billions of dollars TELUS spends on purchasing spectrum from the federal government, and the millions of dollars spent annually to maintain and upgrade TELUS wireless networks for the benefit of their customers. A recent Opensignal report found that if rural Canada was its own country, it would rank 12th in the world in respect to wireless download speeds, with rural Canadian users on average experiencing faster 4G speeds than users in the United States, Sweden, New Zealand, and France.
TELUS has invested more than $350 million across Northern B.C. since 2013, making the area one of the most connected regions in Canada. These investments have brought more resident’s high-speed Internet, and expanded the reach of TELUS’ wireless network across the area, giving more residents, businesses, and visitors reliable cellular connectivity. TELUS has also connected Prince George, Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Williams Lake, Quesnel, and the Witset First Nation to the TELUS PureFibre network, and has brought more Northern B.C. communities high-speed Internet and Optik TV. TELUS also serves 178 of B.C.’s Indigenous communities, and has collaborated with 46 Indigenous Governments to bring TELUS PureFibre to their communities, including 12 in collaboration with the All Nations Trust Company’s Pathways to Technology program which receives funding from the provincial and federal governments.
“It is imperative that everyone travelling along our highways can do so safely, and a cellular signal is an important lifeline when you’re on the road, especially in rural and remote parts of the province,” said Minister Of Citizens’ Services Anne Kang. “I want to thank TELUS for their investment and work to expand access to cellular service along the Highway of Tears. Ensuring people in B.C. can benefit from digital technologies like cellular coverage and broadband infrastructure is part of our commitment to growing rural economies and working towards true and lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
“I often travel along Highway 16 for work or to visit friends and family. It is a stunning stretch of road, but sadly one that is associated with grief, tragedy and loss - especially with regard to Indigenous women and girls,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Expanding cellular communication along provincial highways improves safety by giving people the ability to ask for help if there’s an emergency, to access GPS to find their way, or to place a call to check in with loved ones.”
“Cell coverage in areas of Northern British Columbia and along the Highway of Tears is a priority and can be a part of safety planning for Indigenous women and girls,” said Chastity Davis, Chair, Minister’s Advocacy Council on Indigenous Women. “This stretch of highway has long needed to have access to cell coverage and is one piece of a much larger solution that we must all be committed to addressing and investing in for the safety of Indigenous women and girls. I commend TELUS for stepping up and being a part of the solution.”
This investment is part of TELUS’ commitment to invest $4.7 billion throughout British Columbia between 2017 and 2020, at no cost to taxpayers. For more information about TELUS’ commitment to serving First Nations communities, please click here.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $14.7 billion in annual revenue and 15.2 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.
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