SaskTel has launched its Rural Fibre Initiative, a multi-phase project that will see the Crown corporation invest over $50 million to bring blazing fast SaskTel infiNET™ service to approximately 30,000 households and businesses in more than 20 rural Saskatchewan communities over the next four years.
Through this initiative, SaskTel will ensure that more rural residents can take advantage of the latest digital tools and technologies to connect, learn, access healthcare and government services, and pursue business opportunities.
“Expanding access to leading-edge broadband technology is critical in preparing Saskatchewan for its future,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “As so many of us have adapted to online learning and new ways of working, we have become ever more dependent on high speed internet services. This investment by SaskTel will help set the stage for Saskatchewan’s future and ensure that our province is ready for the post-COVID world with the most advanced communications infrastructure available.”
“As Saskatchewan’s homegrown communications leader, SaskTel is firmly committed to connecting the people of Saskatchewan,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “Through our Rural Fibre Initiative, residents and business owners in many of our smaller communities can continue to confidently build their future knowing they’ll soon have access to the best communications infrastructure available.”
Powered by SaskTel’s fibre-optics network, infiNET service delivers speeds reaching up to 300 Megabits per second (Mbps), allowing subscribers to surf, stream, and share however much content they want at incredible speeds. Plus, with advancements in fibre-optics technology, SaskTel will soon deliver internet speeds of up to a Gigabit per second (Gbps), and beyond in the future.
The first phase of the Rural Fibre Initiative will be focused in the communities of Balgonie, Biggar, Langham, and Pilot Butte. SaskTel anticipates infiNET service will be available to the majority of residents and businesses in these communities by March 2022.
Additionally, work is in progress to confirm the communities to be included in phase 2 of the Rural Fibre Initiative, with a formal announcement expected to be made later in 2021.
“As the organization representing Saskatchewan’s hometowns, from its smallest villages to its largest cities, Municipalities of Saskatchewan is pleased to see SaskTel expanding its infiNET service to smaller communities in our province,” said Municipalities of Saskatchewan President Gordon Barnhart. “In today’s digital landscape, connectivity is at the forefront of our businesses and home lives, and the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a stark reminder of the importance of being able to remain connected virtually. We have long been aware of the gap in service between the larger centres and those communities who are smaller and more remote and are pleased to see the issue is beginning to be addressed.”
“The people of Langham are excited to welcome fibre-optic internet to our community along with the benefits and opportunities it will bring,” said Gary Epp, Mayor of Langham.
The Rural Fibre Initiative is part of SaskTel’s larger commitment to invest over $1.6 billion in capital across Saskatchewan through 2025.