TELUS investing $9 million to bring fibre optic technology to Gaspésie
Ninety-nine percent of the population of all Gaspé Peninsula communities will have access to the TELUS PureFibre network by 2021
Gaspé, Quebec – TELUS announced today an investment of $9 million to bring its PureFibre network to 13 communities in the Côte-de-Gaspé and Haute-Gaspésie RCMs (Regional community municipalities) and to upgrade its wireless network to the latest LTE technology. This investment includes a financial contribution of $1.3 million from the federal Connect to Innovate and provincial Québec branché programs. With this ambitious project, TELUS is literally building a bridge to the future for residents, businesses, and service providers, giving them the tools to innovate locally, compete globally and deliver better health, education and social outcomes.
TELUS has invested nearly $37 million in the Gaspé Peninsula deploying its PureFibre network since 2015, and will pursue its massive investment next year in Le Rocher-Percé RCM. By 2021, 99 percent of the population of all Peninsula communities will have access to the world’s best and fastest Internet technology, making it one of the top regions in the country for access to high-speed connections.
“Our 100 team members in Gaspésie eagerly tackle every technological hurdle when deploying high-speed networks in remote communities to bridge the digital divide,” says Marie-Christine D’Amours, TELUS Vice President, Consumer and Small Business Solutions and Quebec Customer Experience. “Fibre-to-the-home provides lightning fast symmetrical download speeds, which are crucial with the growing popularity of online applications such as virtual healthcare, smart homes, videogames and advanced collaboration tools like immersive videoconferencing. It enables local businesses to seize the opportunities of the digital age, and will support the increasingly connected future generations.”
TELUS launched its PureFibre deployment earlier this year in Côte-de-Gaspé and Haute-Gaspésie and the network is already available in 11 of the 13 communities. The deployment continues in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and Mont-Albert and by the end of this year, 15,300 families and businesses in the area will gain access to TELUS fibre-to-the-home.
TELUS will be investing in the following communities this year: Cap-Chat, Cloridorme, Grande-Vallée, La Martre, Marsoui, Mont-Albert, Mont-Saint-Pierre, Murdochville, Petite-Vallée, Rivière-à-Claude, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine and Saint-Maxime-du-Mont-Louis. TELUS is also enhancing the speed and capacity of its wireless network in Cap-Chat, Cap-au-Renard, Cloridorme, La Martre, Grosses-Roches, Petite-Tourelle and Saint-Yvon.
“The Connect to Innovate program from the Government of Canada helps remote communities to reach their full potential. Today, we have evidence that this program is crucial for the Gaspé Peninsula: with the investment of our government and the financial contributions of the Quebec government and TELUS, many communities in Gaspésie now have access to the same high speed Internet service than in the largest cities.” - The Honorable Diane Lebouthillier, MP for Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue
Bridging the digital divide with technology and giving
Between 2013 and 2021, TELUS will have invested more than $300 million to expand its PureFibre network in the eastern part of Quebec with $72 million in support from the federal and provincial governments. Within the next two years, the company plans to offer direct fibre access to 93 percent of Greater Quebec City and Eastern Quebec residents. Nationwide, TELUS has invested over $175 billion in its infrastructure and operations since 2000 and plans to add approximately $40 billion over the next three years, for a total of $215 billion.
Winner of the 2018 Mercure prize for “Engagement within the Investors Group”, TELUS is committed to giving, and to lending a helping hand to charities in Gaspésie. In the past five years, TELUS has donated $360,000 to local charities including the Centre Louise Amelie, the Centre de pédiatrie sociale de La Côte-de-Gaspé and the Musée de la Gaspésie. TELUS also supports key local events, including the Festival de Musique du bout du Monde, with which it has just renewed a three-year agreement.
The investments announced in this media release are consistent with TELUS’ capital expenditure guidance for 2019, which was released in our fourth quarter of 2018 earnings release dated February 14, 2019.
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 one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, with $14.5 billion of annual revenue and 14.0 million subscriber connections, including 9.7 million wireless subscribers, 1.9 million Internet subscribers, 1.2 million residential voice and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment, video and home and business security. TELUS is also Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers business process solutions around the globe.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $690 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.21 million days of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 13 Canadian community boards and five International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed $72 million in support of 7,000 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition. For more information about
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