RIMOUSKI, Quebec, Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TELUS is actively expanding its advanced high-speed wireless and PureFibre networks in Quebec to reach an additional 25,000 homes in 45 remote, low-density communities in the administrative regions of Chaudière-Appalaches, Gaspésie, Lower St. Lawrence, and North Shore. This ambitious project will boost the economy in the Quebec region while providing local families and businesses with the digital tools they need to adapt their daily lives to the accelerating pace of digital activities during this unprecedented health crisis.
“Quebec’s 6,000 TELUS team members are particularly proud of the confidence that the governments of Canada and Quebec have shown in them over the last years, and we applaud their active contribution to deploying high-speed services in Quebec’s remote regions,” says François Gratton, Executive Vice-President, Group President, TELUS, and Chair, TELUS Health and TELUS Québec. “We share more than 90 years of history with our customers here. Founded by Quebec entrepreneurs, our company has always kept the same vision: to be deeply anchored in the local communities we serve, and to focus on putting our customers first. With determination, innovation, and teamwork, we are accelerating the deployment of our networks across Quebec, and are eager to participate in the economic recovery of our province with our private investment.”
Over the last two decades, TELUS has invested nearly $27 billion in Quebec’s economy, notably in infrastructure, spectrum licences, and operations to improve the coverage, speed, and reliability of our world-class networks, with a special focus on serving remote communities. That includes an investment of $300 million since 2013 to deploy our PureFibre network in the eastern part of the province. Thanks to our long-standing cooperation with the governments of Quebec and Canada and their contribution of $72 million, 99 per cent of families and businesses in the regions of Quebec City and Eastern Quebec that TELUS serves will have access to high-speed Internet service by 2021, with 93 per cent enjoying PureFibre.
“The investments we made in our networks over the past few decades have proven crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Quebecers are depending on reliable and fast connectivity to stay in touch with their loved ones, consult health care professionals remotely, or continue their studies and professional activities online,” notes Marie-Christine D’Amours, TELUS Vice-President, Consumer Solutions and Customer Experience for Quebec. “Our PureFibre network was fast and robust enough to easily handle the impressive 40 per cent increase in Internet use from home during the lockdown. Now and in the future, our network will be there for our customers so that we can continue to stay united and connected.”
Here are some details about the ongoing TELUS’ projects that will contribute to the economic vitality of municipalities in the Quebec City region and in Eastern Quebec, while bridging the digital divide in remote communities:
- PureFibre network: TELUS is deploying its PureFibre network to homes and businesses in 35 remote, low-density communities in the RCMs of L’Islet, Matapédia, Matanie, Minganie, Montmagny, and Rocher-Percé, and to the communities of Saint-Simon, Natashquan, Saint-Elzéar and Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce.
- Lower North Shore: This year, TELUS is continuing the ambitious deployment of its 4G LTE wireless network across the Lower North Shore’s vast and roadless territory. Nearly 10 communities in the region, including Harrington Harbour, Kegaska, La Romaine, and Tête à la Baleine, now have access to cell phones and high-speed Internet, at similar speeds as those in urban areas. All 14 villages in the region will be connected to the TELUS digital highway by 2021.
- Wireless network: TELUS will enhance the coverage, speed and reliability of its wireless network by upgrading its infrastructure with the latest LTE technologies. The company will also add new wireless sites in the communities of Baie-Comeau, Saints-Anges, Saint-Lazare, Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux, and Sept-Îles, in the Moisie district. In addition, TELUS has submitted projects to the CRTC and its Broadband Fund to improve its wireless coverage in several Quebec regions including certain sections of routes 299, 132, and 195 in the Matapédia and Gaspé region, the communities of Notre-Dame-de-Montauban, Rivière-à-Pierre and Sainte-Thècle, and in several municipalities and sections of Highway 138 in Minganie.
- Submarine optic fibre cable improving the security of telecommunications services on the North Shore: Through a joint investment of $15 million by TELUS and the Government of Canada, the telecommunications company will deploy a new submarine optic fibre cable between Sept-Îles and the Gaspé Peninsula by 2023, enhancing the reliability and security of telecommunication services on the North Shore. In the event of a fibre cut on the main backbone network, the fibre cable will ensure the continuity of high-speed services to the communities located between Baie-Comeau and Blanc-Sablon.
Nationwide, TELUS has invested nearly $200 billion in infrastructure, spectrum licenses, and operations to improve the coverage, speed, and reliability of its world-class networks and to connect its customers from coast to coast. The company has also committed to investing an additional $40 billion over the next three years to boost innovation and development in the digital sector, both in urban and rural areas. Today, 99 per cent of families and businesses across Canada have access to the TELUS 4G LTE network, which has been awarded by many firms around the world including Opensignal, Ookla, J.D. Power, PCMag, and Tutela. These honours are in addition to those received from external organizations for the excellence of TELUS’s customer service in Quebec, including SQM (Service Quality Measurement), Protégez-vous, and the Association Marketing Québec with the Flèches d’or award.
This news release contains statements about plans, intentions and future events that are forward-looking. These include statements relating to the amounts and areas of focus of TELUS’ planned infrastructure investment spending and the anticipated impact of this spending, including the percentage of the population and number of households that will have access to networks by specified dates. By their nature, forward-looking statements require TELUS to make assumptions and predictions, and are therefore 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 developments and government decisions, competition, technological substitution, economic performance in Canada, our earnings and free cash flow, and the still developing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our network, technology, infrastructure, team members, operations, and supply chain) could cause actual capital and operating expenditures and the results of those expenditures to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. 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 as set out in our second quarter 2020 Management’s discussion and analysis 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) and based on our current assumption that the reopening of the Canadian economy will continue as it has begun in the second quarter of 2020 and that there will not be a pronounced “second wave” of infections in Canada or material worsening of the pandemic in the United States or internationally that would have a significant impact on our business or customers. Forward-looking statements describe TELUS’ expectations, and are based on our assumptions as of 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 the forward-looking statements contained in this document.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $15 billion in annual revenue and 15.4 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. At TELUS, we leverage our world-leading technology’s potential to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our long-standing commitment to putting 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 health care 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 $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.
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