TELUS investing more than $100 million in Northern B.C. over next three years
Prince George, B.C. 12/4/2012– TELUS will invest $103 million in Northern B.C. over the next three years to expand 4G LTE – the fastest wireless technology in the world – to Prince George, connect Northern communities to broadband Internet, and increase internet speed and capacity in several communities.
“TELUS’ $103 million investment in Northern B.C. over the next three years is only possible due to the hard work and outstanding commitment of our 775 team members and retirees in the region and the support of our customers, and for that I am deeply grateful,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “TELUS will bring the world’s fastest wireless technology to Prince George this year and expand Optik TV to even more neighbourhoods at the same time as we extend broadband internet service to many more Northern communities. With this commitment, we are providing the wireless and wireline communications backbone local companies depend on to compete in the world economy; creating local employment opportunities; and advancing healthcare, education and connectivity for citizens across the region.”
Of the more than $100 million TELUS plans to invest in Northern B.C. over the next three years, TELUS will invest $60 million in Prince George. TELUS invested $11 million in Prince George last year, including $3 million to expand its customer care centre so it could hire 150 new team members in Prince George to help the company meet growing demand for Optik TV. TELUS plans to hire a further 70 employees across Northern B.C. this year to continue to support its services provided to citizens across British Columbia.
Chris Jensen, TELUS general manager for Northern B.C., added TELUS’ commitment also extends to supporting local charities and community organizations.
“The TELUS team in Northern B.C. is dedicated to supporting the critical work done by local organizations with our dollars and, more importantly, our hearts and hands. By the end of this year, TELUS and our 600 team members and retirees here in Prince George will have contributed more than $1 million to local charities and community organizations since 2000. Notably, our Prince George team has volunteered an extraordinary 108,000 hours supporting local charities such as the Prince George Hospice Society, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, KidSport and Habitat For Humanity to name but a few.”
To support the local community and to thank customers for their valued business, TELUS has programs in Prince George and across B.C. that raise funds for local initiatives by donating on behalf of every new Optik TV and smartphone customer. In 2009, TELUS launched a year-long campaign in Prince George that contributed $144,500 to help rebuild the Cameron Street Replica Bridge in Cottonwood Park. TELUS today announced it will contribute $373,400 to Kordyban Lodge, a caring and compassionate home away from home for those undergoing cancer treatment and their families in Prince George. Additionally, TELUS is today launching a new local fundraising program, again making donations on behalf of new customers, this time to the Prince George Library’s Skylab, an innovative social and learning space for the community.
TELUS’ $100 million investment in Northern B.C. over the next three years will:
- Extend its new 4G LTE network to Prince George. 4G LTE is the most advanced, fastest wireless technology available in the world today.
- Extend Optik TV to more Prince George homes this year. TELUS will extend the infrastructure for Optik TV and faster Internet service to 3,000 more homes in Prince George this year, expanding its local Optik footprint to 28,000 households. By the end of 2012, TELUS will expand the reach of its Optik TV service to reach 1.3 million B.C. households. At the end of 2011, TELUS had 509,000 TV customers, adding 56,000 in the final three months of the year alone.
- Connect five nearby communities to broadband Internet for the first time, including Cluculz Lake, Kitwanga, Hansard, Wet’suwet’en and Reid Lake.
- Extend wireless coverage along critical Northern highways, improving safety for the travelling public.
The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS' overall capital expenditure guidance for 2012.