JULY 4, 2022

TELUS investing $10 million to connect Haida Gwaii

TELUS broadband and 5G networks and technology will enable more residents and businesses on Haida Gwaii to connect online to critical healthcare, education and teleworking flexibility.

Haida Gwaii, B.C. - TELUS is investing $10 million to bring enhanced cellular service and broadband Internet to Haida Gwaii. In June, TELUS completed upgrades to the Mascon by TELUS high-speed Internet network that now provides access to speeds up to 120 Mbps for residents and businesses in Daajing Giids and Skidegate. In addition to enhancing broadband connectivity throughout the region, TELUS recently completed upgrades to its local wireless infrastructure, bringing residents, business, and visitors access to high-speed wireless voice and Internet services in these communities for the first time. These investments build upon TELUS' Reconciliation Commitment and are critical to providing Indigenous Peoples with access to superior technology that connects them to the people, resources and information that make their lives better. 

"Our longstanding investments on Haida Gwaii are supporting critical, transformational change in respect to enabling online healthcare, education, and the ability to work from home or operate a local business and compete globally,” said Tony Geheran, TELUS EVP and Chief Operations Officer. “We continue to engage with communities and Indigenous leaders in ways that they want to engage with us, and believe it is our responsibility as a socially purpose driven organization to use our voice, business and relationships to encourage Reconciliation across Canada. As part of our local efforts to support where it’s needed, we were privileged to partner with the Council of Haida Nation, Haida Gwaii Museum and School District 50 early in the pandemic to support Elders to stay connected through access to tablets.”

In support of TELUS’ continued efforts to connect Indigenous communities to the life-changing power of high-speed Internet and mobility solutions, TELUS developed its Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy and Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan through an inclusive, culturally relevant process. The plan was guided by Indigenous voices and frameworks of reconciliation with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the diverse Indigenous communities in the areas we serve. Locally on Haida Gwaii, TELUS engaged with leadership throughout these network enhancements, hired local workers, and used locally operated equipment rentals to complete the recent upgrades.

“When the pandemic hit we knew we needed to ensure our Elders were protected. When we approached TELUS and Mascon by TELUS, early in the pandemic they listened and worked with us as members of our community to support our iPads for Elders program, including enabling connectivity to 35 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Elders,” said Jisgang Nika Collison, Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum. “In a time of such instability and fear the team showed nothing but respect for our Elders. We appreciate the ongoing partnership. Haawa.”

“Skidegate Band Council appreciates and supports the expansion of connectivity into our community. Our relationship with TELUS via Mascon has led to infrastructure implementation and the creation of connectivity and support for our members and local government with their fibre connections,” said Chief Councillor Billy Yovanovich, Skidegate Band Council. “It came at a time when connectivity was lacking in many areas. Haawa (Thank You).”

Over the last 15 years, TELUS has made significant investments to enhance connectivity on Haida Gwaii, providing cellular and Internet coverage to 13 communities on the Islandi: Queen Charlotte City, Skidegate, Skidegate Landing, Sandspit, Port Clements Haina, Alliford Bay, Sewall, Tlell, Lawnhill, Old Masset, Masset, Delkatla, and the Haida Gwaii Hospital (Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay), along with 9 Reserve Lands including Yan 1, Masset 1, Sauchten 18, Tlaa Gaa Aawtlaas 28, Ain 6, Lanas 4, Skaigha 2, Skidegate 1, and Khrana 4. In 2019, TELUS invested $500,000 in Port Clements to bring cell phone service to the community and surrounding areas for the very first time.

 In May, TELUS announced the investment of $17.5 billion in network infrastructure, operations, and spectrum across British Columbia over the next four years and has committed to investing $70 billion overall across Canada by 2026. 

For more information, please contact:

Lena Chen
TELUS Public Relations
[email protected]