Telus has announced a $20 million private investment in the Lower St. Lawrence region of the province of Quebec for a new wireless site in Saint-Damase and the rollout of its PureFibre network in the communities of Saint-Mathieu-Rioux and Lac-des-Aigles, and in the Lac Taché sector of Rimouski’s ZEC (Controlled Development Zone).
The investment is paired with $1.8 million from the Canadian and Quebec governments as part of the Operation High Speed program (Éclair I component), and will bridge the digital divide by fostering digital innovation in local businesses, promoting the tourism industry, attracting young workers and families, and accelerating the development of virtual services in health and education, noted Telus.
“Our 1,400 team members and ecosystem of partners in the Lower St. Lawrence region are using technology to create a better future for citizens by bridging the digital divide with our world-class networks,” says Nathalie Dionne, Telus’ interim vice-president, Home Solutions and Customer Excellence in Quebec. “Ninety-nine per cent of families and businesses in our Quebec territory are connected to our PureFibre network, and we continue to invest with the objective of connecting all households to high speed Internet by September 2022. We also applaud the Quebec government’s commitment to improving wireless coverage in our regions, with a $50 million investment in their most recent budget. Today, broadband connectivity is more than a commodity: it is necessary to our work, entertainment, education, and access to improved healthcare. Most importantly, it empowers our regions to grow, fast-track their environmental transition, and dynamically promote their attractions.”
The company announced an additional investment of $8 million in the North Shore region this year, rolling out its PureFibre and 5G networks in the Innu community of Ekuanitshit and the municipalities of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Port-Menier. This investment is paired with nearly $3 million from the federal and Quebec governments as part of the Operation High Speed program.
As part of the Operation High Speed program, the federal and provincial governments have allocated $26 million to Telus for broadband Internet deployment to nearly 5,000 homes. Telus says its additional funding will connect an additional 25,000 families and businesses to the PureFibre network by September 2022 in the Eastern Quebec, Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie and Estrie regions.
“With the advent of remote work, and to ensure the social and economic development of Quebec’s different regions, access to a high speed Internet connection is essential. Nowadays, our work, classes, social contacts and even medical consultations all happen online, so all Quebec residents need access to the technologies that will allow them to take advantage of those opportunities,” says Gilles Bélanger, parliamentary assistant to the Premier of Quebec for high speed Internet issues. “We want a Quebec that is modern, prosperous and future-oriented, and achieving those goals would be inconceivable without quality high speed Internet service. Over the past few months, thanks to our collaboration with various partners including TELUS, we have been able to overcome a number of different challenges we’ve encountered, and we’re proud of the progress we’ve made.”
Across the Lower St. Lawrence, the investment, along with the committed government support, will help to initiate and advance the following projects:
- Deployment of the PureFibre network to 400 families and businesses in Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux and Lac-des-Aigles as well as the Lac Taché sector of Rimouski’s ZEC. These households have home access to fibre optic Internet.
- Construction of new wireless sites in Saint-Damase for expanded 5G coverage in the community.
- Ongoing support for local organizations and vulnerable families in the Lower St. Lawrence region.
Across the North Shore region, Telus’ investment, along with the committed government support, will help to initiate and advance the following projects:
- Deployment of the PureFibre network to 600 families and businesses in the Innu community of Ekuanitshit and the Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan municipality. These households have home access to fibre optic Internet.
- Construction of new wireless sites in Ekuanitshit and Port-Menier for expanded 5G coverage in the Minganie region. The mobile roll-out in Port-Menier also delivers residential and business Internet service to families and businesses on Anticosti Island.
- Ongoing support for vulnerable North Shore families and local organizations.