Expanding the advanced TELUS PureFibre network across rural and remote British Columbia
Deploying 5G to 187 more communities in the province this year
Supporting local grassroots charities with financial donations and volunteer hours
Creating 12,000 job opportunities for British Columbians
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — To complement the $47 billion TELUS has invested in British Columbia since 2000, TELUS announced today it is investing an additional $13 billion in infrastructure and operations across British Columbia through 2024 to further support the province through the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recovery. These investments will create important and tangible social outcomes for us all by enabling British Columbians to work, learn, access healthcare, and socialize from home during these unprecedented times. TELUS’ significant investments include:
- Bringing our blistering-fast 5G network speeds to connect more than 187 communities to 5G by the end of 2021, as well as 119 Indigenous communities and 335 Indigenous lands which include Reserves, treaty-lands and self-governing lands across the province utilizing our current spectrum holdings. The broad deployment of 5G across our province will contribute to improved health and educational outcomes for British Columbians, supporting environmental sustainability, enabling our entrepreneurial spirit, and unleashing human productivity. It is estimated that 5G will create 250,000 jobs1 and contribute $150 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 20 years2.
- Connecting hundreds of thousands more homes and businesses to the gigabit-enabled TELUS PureFibre network. TELUS PureFibre is Western Canada’s largest fibre-to-the-premise network with symmetrical upload and download speeds to easily manage bandwidth demand. Since 2013, TELUS has connected 1.5 million British Columbian households and businesses to the TELUS PureFibre network, which was ready to withstand the additional demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling people to work with large files at home while other family members could simultaneously be doing virtual school, virtually connecting with healthcare practitioners, or staying socially connected.
- Hiring 12,000 British Columbians primarily in construction, engineering and emerging technologies at TELUS and through our vast partner ecosystem now through 2024.
“On behalf of our 25,000 team members and retirees, TELUS is proud to make this generational investment in British Columbia, providing the technology to connect citizens to loved ones, as well as vital resources and information as we continue to navigate the global pandemic,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of TELUS. “Now more than ever, TELUS is committed to keeping our citizens and communities connected, productive and healthy through our globally leading wireless network, underpinned by our award winning TELUS PureFibre infrastructure that provides the backbone for our 5G-enabled world. Importantly, our world-leading networks will continue to drive the innovation that empowers the diversity and competitiveness of British Columbia’s private sector and improves economic equality in our digital world, helping us answer the most pressing social challenges in health, education and the environment. Indeed, in our province’s more remote communities, the ongoing expansion of our broadband networks, ubiquitously deployed, is bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in any community without compromising productivity or economic opportunity. As we look ahead with optimism to a period of social and economic recovery, our investments are enabling more British Columbians with world-best connectivity to work, learn, socialize, access healthcare, and transact safely and effectively from their homes.”
Here are some of the ways TELUS supported our customers, team members, and Canadians through the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Our world-leading networks accommodated a surge in demand, including a 120% increase in text, photo, and video messages; a 40% surge in Internet usage; a 60% increase in average monthly call volumes; and a 26% increase in TV viewing.
- We gave $85 million to charities across Canada and the world, representing five per cent of our pre-tax profits — more than any other Canadian organization — to drive meaningful change for our most vulnerable citizens in 2020 alone.
- We hired close to 100 additional doctors to seamlessly provide one-to-one virtual patient visits through Babylon by TELUS Health, which is available to all British Columbians under the MSP program.
“Whether it’s being able to video call family members, attend classes remotely, or see a health care provider virtually, the pandemic has reinforced the importance of staying connected, no matter where we live,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’re pleased to welcome these significant investments in British Columbia that will provide better, faster internet and cell service for thousands of people in urban, rural, remote and Indigenous communities. By working together to support these projects, we can keep building a stronger B.C. for everyone.”
In addition to the important network investments referenced above, now through 2024 in British Columbia, TELUS is:
- Delivering connected technology solutions through TELUS Agriculture to B.C.’s farmers, ranchers, and producers to improve the food supply system through enhanced food traceability, security, safety and sustainability.
- Further bridge digital divides and socio-economic inequality by ensuring that safe and quality healthcare is accessible for all British Columbians through the use of TELUS Health’s digital solutions. In the near future, 5G will improve health experiences for British Columbians with faster, more secure connections for video health consultations and remote health monitoring. Eventually, remote surgeries will be made possible as innovation is enabled by our robust networks.
- Committing to further our position as a global leader in social capitalism and the most giving company in the world by supporting charities across B.C. financially and with important volunteer hours, and expanding our For Good programs to help more British Columbians.
- This includes expanding our Internet for Good program – which offers low-income families Internet for $9.95 per month – to students in-need and British Columbians living with a disability; deploying the Kilala Lelum Mobile Health Clinic powered by TELUS Health throughout Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to provide trauma-informed and culturally-sensitive primary medical, addictions, and mental healthcare to British Columbians; and offering low-income seniors across the province a heavily subsidized data plan for $25 per month through TELUS Mobility for Good for Seniors.
These investments build upon TELUS’ continued commitment to bring world-leading connectivity to communities across the province, providing the technological backbone for our economic recovery and strength well into the future. Since 2000, TELUS has invested nearly $240 billion nationally in network infrastructure, operations and spectrum, including more than $53 billion in technology and operations in B.C.
The investments announced in this media release are consistent with TELUS’ capital expenditure guidance for 2021, released in the fourth quarter of 2020 earnings release dated February 11, 2021.
This news release contains statements about future events and plans that are forward-looking, including relating to TELUS’ infrastructure investment plans. By their nature, forward-looking statements require TELUS to make assumptions and predictions and are 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 decisions and developments, the competitive environment in which we operate, our operating and financial results and our ability to carry out financing activities) could cause actual capital and operating expenditures to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
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 referred to in TELUS’ 2018 and first quarter 2019 Management’s discussion and analysis, which are incorporated by reference herein, 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). Forward-looking statements describe TELUS’ expectations and are based on our assumptions as at 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 forward-looking statements.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.
Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 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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