TELUS is investing $90 million to connect the District of Saanich to gigabit-enabled fibre optic network, dramatically increasing wireless and Internet speeds throughout the region

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

Victoria, B.C. – TELUS is investing $90 million to connect more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the District of Saanich to the TELUS PureFibre network. This investment will enhance wireline and wireless connectivity, and prepare the region for 5G technology in the years ahead. Construction on the TELUS PureFibre network is already underway, and TELUS anticipates the majority of homes and businesses will be connected by the end of 2022. 

“TELUS is proud to make this generational investment in Saanich, providing the technology to bridge geographic and socio-economic divides right now, and well into the future, connecting citizens to the people, resources and information that matter the most to them,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the criticality in having access to a reliable, fast Internet connection at home, particularly as more British Columbians work and learn remotely. Importantly, TELUS PureFibre offers the community a globally unmatched wireline network that provides access to the digital tools to drive improved health, social and economic outcomes. Indeed, in communities like Saanich, the advent of broadband networks, ubiquitously deployed, are bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in the community without compromising productivity or economic opportunity. We look forward to connecting our fellow British Columbians in Saanich and beyond to TELUS PureFibre and supporting the community as it attracts new industries and innovators, supporting the jobs of today and those that have yet to be imagined.”

Since 2013, TELUS has invested more than $5 billion to connect 130 communities and 55 First Nations in B.C., Alberta and eastern Quebec to the TELUS PureFibre network. More than two million premises have access to TELUS PureFibre, which reaches 800,000 Canadians in rural and remote communities.

“This pandemic has shown that fast and reliable Internet is not a luxury, but a necessity,” said the Honourable Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P, and Minister of Digital Government. “The TELUS investment to connect the homes and businesses across Saanich to fast and reliable Internet is a welcome step.” 

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, this 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. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, families and businesses throughout B.C. are depending on high-speed internet access more than ever before,” said the Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Connectivity supports working and learning from home, staying connected with loved ones remotely and exchanging goods and services online. This investment will provide a boost to businesses and entrepreneurs in Saanich while also ensuring people have the internet access they need to safely stay connected with their communities.” 

Earlier this month, TELUS announced a groundbreaking new tier of home Internet, setting a new benchmark for home and business Internet speeds in Western Canada. With blisteringly fast speeds clocking in at up to 1,500 Mbps download and up to 940 Mbps upload, the launch of TELUS PureFibre 1.5 Gigabit marks a substantial leap in available speeds for residents in B.C. and Alberta, both at home and in the workplace. 

This new fibre optic infrastructure will also be the backbone of TELUS’ wireless network, enabling more wireless capacity and faster speeds throughout the region, and lays the groundwork for 5G technologies in the years ahead. A reliable and fast wireless connection has become increasingly important as consumers use apps like Babylon by TELUS Health, which enables all British Columbians to access critical medical advice and FaceTime with a registered B.C. physician right from their smartphone, at no cost to the user. For residents in rural communities who must travel distances to visit a doctor, this app promises to be transformational by providing users the ability to connect with a doctor from the comfort of their home or office, and have prescriptions sent to a pharmacy near them.

A direct connection to the TELUS PureFibre network comes at no cost to taxpayers or residents. Residents can expect to see TELUS trucks throughout the community as construction begins. TELUS team members interacting with home owners will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and will maintain physical distance during conversations. Once homes are connected, residents can immediately begin taking advantage of dramatically and equally fast upload and download Internet speeds. 

Since 2015, TELUS, our team members and retirees contributed more than $1.6 million and volunteered 220,000 hours to charities and community organizations located in Victoria & Saanich. In addition, the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation has donated $650,000 to charities located in Victoria & Saanich. TELUS has committed $150 million to support Canadians throughout the COVID-19 crisis, including $20 million in philanthropic funding to public healthcare; 11,000 donated devices to keep seniors or hospital patients connected to their loved ones; and $8 million of in kind donations to more than 300 charitable non-profit healthcare organizations. 

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, please visit telus.com/purefibre. 

Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake

“All of us have been reminded during the COVID-19 pandemic just how important to our lives good internet connectivity is. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that Gigabit internet has and the improvement it represents for people and businesses in our community.”

Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South 

“High-speed internet is more important now than ever, whether you’re trying to run a business, work or study from home, or just stream a movie. This is an incredibly important investment for Saanich.”

Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head 

“This investment by TELUS could not come at a better time as we continue to chart a course through the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only will it allow residents of Saanich to work, learn and stay connected to family and friends from home, but it will also provide an option for less carbon intense ways of conducting business and living our lives overall. This will be important as we continue to tackle the effects of climate change on a local level.” 

 

Mayor Fred Haynes, District of Saanich 

"Connectivity is so important during these changing and challenging times. That's why Saanich Council is pleased to support projects like this that help us all stay on the leading edge. Our community is constantly moving forward and it's essential that our businesses and residents have access to high quality technology to help us all achieve our goals."

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $14.8 billion in annual revenue and 15.3 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 $736 million and 1.4 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world. 

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com, follow us @TELUSNews on Twitter and @Darren_Entwistle on Instagram.

For media inquiries, please contact:

TELUS Public Relations

Liz Sauvé

liz.sauve@telus.com