Canadian fixed and mobile operator Telus has announced an investment budget of CAD40 billion (USD30 billion) for the next three years, on top of the CAD175 billion invested in its infrastructure since 2000. Ongoing fixed and wireless broadband rollouts for rural and remote communities will now be aided by deferred savings made available through the Government of Canada’s new Accelerated Investment Incentive, the entirety of which Telus will reserve for ‘investments in communities deemed underserved by the federal government’, the company’s press release said.
Telus highlighted that since 2013 it has invested more than CAD900 million to expand broadband services to rural communities with a combined population of over 800,000 in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. By the end of 2018, 76% of households and businesses in Telus’ largely rural Quebec incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) territory had access to the Telus ‘PureFibre’ high speed fixed broadband network, and the firm says that this figure will rise to 93% by 2021. Furthermore, in 2019 alone Telus has earmarked CAD124 million for rural upgrades to the radio access, transport and core segments of its wireless network, including expanding access to Wireless High Speed Internet Access (WHSIA) for Canadians in locations too remote to receive wireline broadband. Telus also points out that it has connected more than 40 Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia and Alberta, and will connect at least ten more before the end of 2020.
In total, Telus’ PureFibre network footprint grew by 34% in 2018 to cover two million Canadian households, whilst over 99% of the population can access Telus’ 4G LTE cellular network.