SaskTel continues to enhance connectivity throughout Saskatchewan with its $100 million Rural Fibre Initiative
Photo of the Town of Outlook along the South Saskatchewan River. Photo courtesy of Henry Buys.
SaskTel is blazing a trail across Saskatchewan as they continue to enhance highspeed internet connectivity for thousands of residents and businesses.
On December 6, 2021, the company announced 24 additional communities (listed below) which will soon receive SaskTel infiNET™ service as part of the fourth phase of its $100 million Rural Fibre Initiative.
“We plan to begin construction in these communities next year and expect to have the majority of residents and businesses fibre ready by the end of 2023,” said Brian Eltom, SaskTel Assistant Vice-President – Fibre To The Premise. “Upgrading the network to fibre provides SaskTel with a more flexible platform in these communities that can quickly grow to meet customers’ evolving needs.”
Delivering speeds of up to a Gigabit per second, SaskTel’s infiNET network expansion will help rural Saskatchewan residents and businesses gain access to advanced fibre optic broadband infrastructure and the online tools and services they require to succeed in the modern world.
“Outlook’s businesses require the tools to connect to the rest of the world with the most current technology available. SaskTel’s plan to include Outlook in its Rural Fibre Initiative provides a fundamental piece that we need to continue to be a business-friendly community” – Maureen Weiterman, Mayor of Outlook.
The Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance (SEDA) also recognizes that Saskatchewan’s future competitiveness and growth prospects within the economic sector are linked to opportunities created by access to cutting-edge highspeed internet technologies.
“Employees and entrepreneurs can now choose to live and work anywhere that will support virtual operations and there is increasing evidence that companies embedding digital technologies and processes are enjoying significantly higher rates of revenue and earnings growth than those who are not,” said Verona Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance. “We have the potential to reduce our environmental footprint by leveraging data, and adding automation to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, and improve water usage and quality. Virtual healthcare and enhancements in education delivery will improve socio-economic equity and prepare a Saskatchewan workforce for the demand in technology-related employment across all sectors.”
The opportunities linked to this expansion sent ripples of excitement through many communities, including the Town of Outlook.
“As the Irrigation Capital of Saskatchewan, the Town of Outlook has been engaging in creating strategies to attract and retain business in our community,” said Maureen Weiterman, Mayor of Outlook. “Outlook’s businesses require the tools to connect to the rest of the world with the most current technology available. SaskTel’s plan to include Outlook in its Rural Fibre Initiative provides a fundamental piece that we need to continue to be a business-friendly community.”
Originally announced in 2020, the Rural Fibre Initiative is a multi-phase program that will bring SaskTel infiNET service to over 60,000 residents and businesses spread across 45 rural communities by the end of 2023. Building on previous deployments, SaskTel estimates that approximately three quarters of Saskatchewan homes will have access to infiNET service once the Rural Fibre Initiative has been completed.”
The communities to receive infiNET service in the first three phases of the Rural Fibre Initiative include:
Phase 1 – Balgonie, Biggar, Langham and Pilot Butte. SaskTel anticipates the majority of homes and businesses in all four communities will be fibre ready by the end of March 2022.
Phase 2 – Kindersley, Meadow Lake, and Rosetown. Construction has already started in Kindersley and will soon begin in Meadow Lake, and Rosetown.
Phase 3 – Canora, Carlyle, Esterhazy, Fort Qu’Appelle, Hudson Bay, Indian Head, Kamsack, La Ronge, Lumsden, Maple Creek, Moosomin, Shaunavon, Watrous, and Wynyard. SaskTel plans to begin construction in these communities in 2022.
SaskTel’s investment in the Rural Fibre Initiative is part of the company’s larger commitment to invest $1.4 billion of capital across Saskatchewan over the next five years. These investments will make sure Saskatchewan residents will continue to enjoy some of the best communications infrastructure, technology, and services available anywhere in the world.
For more information about SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative or infiNET service, please visit www.sasktel.com