High-speed boost for Saint-Adelphe
TELUS has invested $9 million in the Mékinac and Les Chenaux regional county municipalities (RCMs), deploying its award-winning PureFibre and 5G networks to the region. A grateful town of St Adelphe has responded by naming the road leading to the wireless site ‘TELUS Way.’
Paul Labranche has always been driven to support his community’s economic development. As mayor of Saint-Adelphe, a community of fewer than 1,000 residents about 60 kilometres north-east of Trois-Rivières, he’s watched his municipality grow at lightning speed since the arrival of TELUS wireless and fibre optic connectivity in 2022. The positive change has been astounding: More families are choosing to move here, a new child care centre is on its way, and farmers (a mainstay of the local economy) are able to rely on the new technologies to increase their yields and lower their costs.
“Unfortunately, before 2022, people didn’t move to Saint-Adelphe year-round because the connectivity was so limited,” Labranche explains. “But now many of them are permanent residents.”
As a six-term mayor, Labranche knows how important technology is to a community’s development. Thanks to the Batiscan River, a popular draw for seasonal residents, the population of this picturesque village in the Mauricie region grows by almost 40 per cent in summer. Visitors come to enjoy the river, admire the Manitou Falls and relax in one of the area’s many chalets.
But keeping people in the region year-round has been a challenge.
“To move out to our part of the province, people told us that they needed three things: Internet, cell service, and daycare. That’s what families want,” says Labranche.
With all three of those boxes now checked, the community is ready for growth.
Symbol of hope
The town’s transformation is a big change from the reality of just a couple of years ago when, in 2021, about 20 homes were up for sale.
These days, all of the houses are now sold. Nearly 25 new families have come to settle in the municipality over the past two years. While that number may seem tiny for urban centres, it makes a big difference for Saint-Adelphe.
“That’s what’s keeping the village school from shutting down,” Labranche notes.
This high-speed boost follows TELUS’ $9-million investment in the Mékinac and Les Chenaux RCMs to deploy its PureFibre and 5G networks to the region, including Saint-Adelphe. From now through 2027, the company will invest an additional $11.5 billion in its infrastructure and operational activities to connect thousands more Quebec businesses and homes to its high-speed networks.
As their way of saying thanks, the Saint-Adelphe municipal council chose the name “TELUS Way” for the road leading to the wireless site. The new name was adopted by unanimous resolution, and a street sign will be installed along Route 352.
“Everyone will see it. It’s our way of celebrating the start of a new, more connected era,” Labranche says.
New connectivity means businesses thrive
Investments in high-speed connectivity generate other investments. The arrival of multiple new families led to the construction of a new child care centre, Les Soleils de Mékinac, built on land donated by the municipality of Saint-Adelphe and with space for up to 26 children.
“The new child care centre is a major project with a budget of about $1.3 million,” explains Catherine Groleau, the centre’s director. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm from the families. For some of them, this is the first time they’ll have access to daycare services.”
According to Groleau, TELUS connectivity was a major factor in the decision to build a child care centre in Saint-Adelphe. “We use IT tools to manage attendance and our servers are in Saint-Tite, where our coordinating office is located. Everything’s done over the internet. We need to have a good connection in order to operate. Our accounting system runs remotely as well. It makes our staff’s work a lot easier. We communicate with parents through a mobile app. We can send them photos and information about their child in real time.”
Connectivity via TELUS networks has also brought major benefits for Saint-Adelphe’s farmers.
Alexis Montambeault, a local dairy producer and co-owner of the Montambeault-Tessier Farm, uses devices connected to the WiFi in his cowshed.
“The herd management software is internet-based. It communicates with my cell phone for things like milk testing and recording. I won’t be going back to my father’s system of calendars and wheel charts,” he says.
In fact, high-speed connectivity has revolutionized Montambeault’s overall farming practices. An automated feeding system connected to the Internet helps increase efficiency despite ongoing labour shortages. Surveillance tools allow him to check on activities in the fields. Accounting software with internet connectivity also saves lots of paper and helps him manage his business more easily. Montambeault even participates in online auctions to buy his farming equipment.
“There’s less wasted time, the work is more efficient, and I can find information more quickly. It’s improved how I organize my work,” he says.
Best of all, the 28-year-old farmer appreciates being able to talk on the phone when he’s out in the field. Before, calls were often dropped as he moved around to different locations on his 205 acres of land.
“Now, I’ve got access to all the information I need, wherever I am,” he says. “I feel less isolated.”
For his part, Mayor Labranche is excited by the changes underway in his village, and by the all the future opportunities that come with high-speed connectivity.
“It’s a big step forward,” he says. “TELUS Way is our symbol of a more promising future.”
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