TELUS is investing $63 million across Greater Victoria this year to keep communities connected
TELUS Victoria Community Board renamed TELUS Vancouver Island Community Board as it expands its support to Central and North Island charities
#StandWithOwners initiative commits $1 million in support of Canadian small businesses
Victoria, B.C. – TELUS announced today that we are investing $63 million across Greater Victoria this year, as part of our $13 billion investment in infrastructure and operations across British Columbia through 2024 to further support the province throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recovery. These investments will create important and tangible social outcomes while many British Columbians continue to work, learn, access healthcare, and socialize from home during these unprecedented times. TELUS’ significant investments in Greater Victoria include:
Bringing our blistering-fast 5G network speeds to Greater Victoria utilizing our current spectrum holdings, enabling residents and businesses to access the fastest 5G network in Canada, providing speeds up to 1.7 Gbps. TELUS will have connected 187 communities, 119 First Nations communities, and 335 Indigenous lands across the province to 5G by the end of this year, utilizing our current spectrum holdings. The broad deployment of 5G across our province will contribute to improved health and educational outcomes for British Columbians, supporting environmental sustainability, enabling our entrepreneurial spirit, and unleashing human productivity. It is estimated that 5G will create 250,000 jobs and contribute $150 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 20 years.
Building new wireless infrastructure in response to the increasing demand for enhanced wireless connectivity throughout the city, ensuring TELUS wireless networks continue to meet and exceed the demands for reliable and fast connectivity in Greater Victoria.
Connecting more households and businesses to the gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network, Western Canada’s largest fibre-to-the-premise network that supported more than 3.5 million British Columbians as they adapted to new ways of living throughout the pandemic. TELUS PureFibre first came to Greater Victoria in 2016, and was ready to withstand the additional demands of Covid-19, particularly as the symmetrical upload and download Internet speeds enable residents to work with large files at home while other family members can simultaneously be learning, streaming entertainment, or video chatting with friends.
“TELUS is proud to make this generational investment in Greater Victoria, 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 British Columbia, 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 British Columbians with world-best connectivity to work, learn, socialize, access entertainment and transact safely and effectively from their homes.”
Today, TELUS Victoria Community Board, which is an innovative funding model that entrusts community leaders to make impactful funding decisions to support the community, expands to become the TELUS Vancouver Island Community Board, supporting registered charities and helping marginalized populations across all of Vancouver Island. The TELUS Vancouver Island Community Board will continue the legacy of giving that was first championed by founding Board Chair, Mel Cooper. To celebrate its larger footprint, incoming Board Chair, Lori McLeod, and her fellow board members are providing a $50,000 grant to the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island’s Q̓ʷalayu House in Campbell River. The grant will support the completion of Q̓ʷalayu House, a home away from home for families and youth from the North Island region and surrounding islands who need to travel to receive critical medical care.
“TELUS has provided extraordinary support to our foundation, enabling the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island to support families during the most stressful, and sometimes heartbreaking, time in their lives,” said Veronica Carroll, CEO of Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.
Since inception, the TELUS Vancouver Island Community Board has given more than $5 million to grassroots charities, including $350,000 last year for emergency relief efforts throughout Covid-19 and the public health crisis. Since 2000, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $10.5 million and volunteered more than 360,000 hours in support of charities and community organizations in Greater Victoria.
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 telus.com/standwithowners.
“The enhanced connectivity being undertaken by TELUS aligns with the priority The Chamber has in place to advocate for strong and equitable access to technology for all member businesses to keep them competitive,” said Bruce Williams, CEO of Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
Planning on TELUS’ new Victoria headquarters, TELUS Ocean, is also underway. TELUS Ocean will be a key economic hub in Victoria’s growing tech and innovation ecosystem, contributing to Victoria’s economic strength, culture, and social vitality, while satisfying the growing demand for additional downtown office space. TELUS anticipates that TELUS Ocean will open in 2024.
To support Greater Victoria throughout the last year, TELUS’ networks helped residents and businesses as we all adapted to new ways of living. As the province’s leading private sector employer, TELUS kept our 8,000 British Columbian team members employed through Covid, including more than 270 local team members right here in Greater Victoria. 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 $53 billion in technology and operations in B.C.
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.
For more information about our investment in Greater Victoria, please view this video.
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 statement 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.
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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