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

Major milestone of 2 million homes and businesses are now connected

PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia, June 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS is investing $150 million to connect more than 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Prince George including the North Side of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation’s Fort George 2 reserve directly to its fibre optic network, enhancing wireline and wireless connectivity, and preparing the region for 5G technology in the years ahead. TELUS plans to complete this significant infrastructure build over the next three years, accounting for the challenging local terrain and winter weather in the region. Construction on the PureFibre network is already underway, and TELUS anticipates the majority of homes and businesses will be connected by the beginning of 2022. This PureFibre build in Prince George represents a major milestone for the TELUS PureFibre network, as the network has now been connected to more than 2 million homes and businesses.

This significant investment brings TELUS’ total investment in Northern B.C. to more than $350 million since 2013, making Northern B.C. one of the most connected regions in Canada. These investments have brought more resident’s high-speed Internet, and expanded the reach of TELUS’ wireless network across the area, giving more residents, businesses, and visitors reliable cellular connectivity. TELUS has connected more than 500 kilometres of Highway 16 to new wireless service, giving residents and visitors the ability to make phone calls from the highway, and enhancing safety by providing providing fast access to 911 in the event of an emergency. TELUS has also connected Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Williams Lake, Quesnel, and Witset to the TELUS PureFibre network, and has brought more Northern B.C. communities high-speed Internet and Optik TV.

“TELUS is very proud to be making this generational investment in Prince George, providing the technology to bridge geographic and socio-economic divides and connect citizens to the people, resources and information that make their lives better,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “Importantly, TELUS PureFibre offers the community a globally unmatched wireline infrastructure that ensures all citizens have access to the digital tools to drive improved health, social and economic outcomes. Moreover, TELUS PureFibre enables entrepreneurs, start-ups and home-based businesses to benefit from the same Internet speeds, functionality, reliability and security that large enterprises currently enjoy. Indeed, in communities like Prince George, the advent of broadband networks, ubiquitously deployed, are bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in the city without compromising productivity or economic opportunity. We look forward to connecting our fellow British Columbians in Prince George 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 2000 through 2018, TELUS has invested more than $47 billion in technology and operations in B.C., and over the next three years through 2021, TELUS plans on investing an additional $8 billion connecting and supporting communities at no cost to taxpayers. Since 2013, TELUS has connected 125 communities in B.C., Alberta and eastern Quebec to the TELUS PureFibre network, and will have connected more than 50 Indigenous communities in B.C. and Alberta by the end of next year.

“Faster Internet connections to homes, businesses and industries in Prince George and parts of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation’s territory will make it easier for people to access vital services and do business online,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “I want to thank TELUS for this important investment. Improving connectivity in the north helps grow our province and ensure people can take advantage of the economic, social and health benefits high-speed Internet has to offer in today’s rapidly changing world.”

The gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network is among the most advanced communications infrastructure available in the world today, giving residents dramatically fast Internet speeds up to a gigabit, while businesses, schools, healthcare providers and other institutions can access even more speed and capacity. The TELUS PureFibre network offers equally fast upload and download speeds, which provides significant benefits for applications like video conferencing, gaming, and home security. Supported by the TELUS PureFibre network, TELUS Smart Home Security offers 24/7 real-time monitoring and smart controls to manage cameras, lock and unlock doors, remotely manage indoor and outdoor lighting and even the thermostat.

"On behalf of Council, I would like to thank TELUS for making this important investment in the technological infrastructure of Prince George,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “Increasing the speed and reliability of our Internet connectivity will have obvious benefits for residents, businesses, and industries in our city. Investments like these help to ensure Prince George keeps up with the latest technology, which has a positive impact on economic development for both the city and region."

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 Northern B.C. who must travel great 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.

“On behalf of all Lheidli T’enneh members I wish to thank TELUS for its investment in our territory and its acknowledgement that indigenous communities must have access to faster Internet services,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief, Clayton Pountney. “Our nation will continue to expand our business holdings in Prince George and throughout our territory and we require the best Internet services available. The investment TELUS has announced today will ensure that we can take our rightful place in the global economy.”

A direct connection to the TELUS PureFibre network comes at no cost to taxpayers or residents, and TELUS plans to bring this critical network infrastructure to more communities in the years ahead. Residents can expect to see TELUS trucks throughout the community as construction begins, and TELUS representatives out knocking on their door to receive permission to connect their home to the network. Once homes are connected, residents can immediately begin taking advantage of dramatically faster and symmetrical Internet speeds.

In addition to these significant network investments, TELUS’ investment in local charities and organizations has earned them the reputation as one of the most giving companies in the world. Since 2000, TELUS, its team members and retirees have contributed $1.2 billion to charitable organizations in Canada, including $690 million in financial support and 1.3 million days of caring and volunteerism. This includes more than $1.5 million donated to local charities and organizations in Prince George, and more than 280,000 hours of volunteerism from Prince George team members and retirees.

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.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, with $14.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.4 million subscriber connections, including 9.2 million wireless subscribers, 1.9 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.2 million residential network access lines and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment, video and home and business security. TELUS is also Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers business process solutions around the globe.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $650 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.21 million days of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 13 Canadian community boards and five International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed $72 million in support of 7,000 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Liz Sauvé
TELUS Public Relations
liz.sauve@telus.com