SaskTel announced that it will invest approximately $321 million of capital in Saskatchewan in 2019-2020 and over $1.4 billion over the next five years.
This investment includes SaskTel’s ongoing programs to enhance and expand wireless, television, internet, data, and IP-based technologies across the province.
“Our Government understands that the residents of this province require access to communications services that enable them to thrive in today’s constantly evolving world,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “Technology has changed the way we connect and the way we do business. SaskTel understands the importance of capital investment to maintain and improve on the services that it delivers across the province.”
“SaskTel’s continued investment in its networks and systems, both externally and internally, will enable us to deliver world class communication technologies to our customers across the province,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “Over the years, SaskTel has proactively invested in new and innovative technologies that have allowed the company to remain successful in an increasingly competitive industry.”
Highlights of 2019-2020 core Saskatchewan investment program include:
•$75.0 million for Fibre to the x (FTTx) program. FTTx is a key component in providing the high bandwidth that customers are demanding. Bringing infiNET™ to Saskatchewan consumers is a $670 million fourteen-year program announced in 2012 which targets to have 100% of homes in the nine major centres in the province passed by 2022. As well, 100% of homes in Martensville, Warman, Emerald Park, White City, Humboldt, Melfort, Melville, Nipawin, and Tisdale will be passed by 2020.
Work includes: ◦$45.8 million – Fibre to the Premises Program (FTTP) in the major cities.
◦$19.2 million – Fibre to the Premises Program (FTTP) outside of the nine majors.
◦In 2019-2020, the FTTP program will pass 30,000 homes with a focus of connecting 16,900 more customers to infiNET in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Weyburn, Estevan, Yorkton, North Battleford, Rosthern, Martensville, Warman, Emerald Park, White City, Humboldt, Melfort, Melville, Nipawin, and Tisdale.
◦$10.0 million for Fibre to the Business (FTTB) – This program aims to pass 4,000 businesses in 2019/20.
Fibre optics will allow SaskTel to deploy download speeds up to 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) initially, with the capacity to significantly increase speeds over time. Customers will be able to enjoy faster download and upload speeds which will enhance the online experience streaming video, uploading photos or videos, or participating in real-time gaming and video chat. infiNET will also support up to 7 HD capable set top boxes, the ability to combine faster Internet speeds with maxTV while improving the TV watching experience.
•$36.0 million for wireless network enhancements ◦$ 29.0 million – Long Term Evolution (LTE) enhancements – The 4G LTE network covers 99% of the population of the province and provides data speeds approximately 10 times faster than 4G allowing customers to stream HD movies, high quality video and music, share pictures and videos, game faster than ever before and download applications lightning fast.
◦$2.0 million – SaskTel Select Wi-Fi expansion.
◦$5.0 million – Wireless network demand and growth including $2.6 million for Long Term Evolution – Time Division Duplex (LTE-TDD) Fusion capacity enhancements.
•$39.1 million for rural wireless and internet enhancements as part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s four-phase initiative to provide rural communities with enhanced access to reliable cellular and high speed internet services.
•$94.4 million on several initiatives to meet wireline network growth ◦Network modernization- $26.6 million
◦Access and Core Demand and Growth – $39.5 million
◦Regional Ethernet Transport Improvements– $4.6 million
◦Community Participation Programs and Partnerships – $3.5 million
◦maxTV Growth – $9.2 million
◦Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) – $10.0 million
◦Other network enhancement – $1.0 million
•$76.4 million to improve customer services through continued investment in Information Technology (IT) and Information Systems (IS) platforms and service enhancements. Key initiatives include: ◦Business Tools Evolution Project which will implement the Core Customer Relationship Management capabilities that provide the foundation to evolve SaskTel’s business customer focused systems and processes.
◦Continued enhancement of Customer Self-serve and e-commerce platforms.
◦IFRS 15 Implementation program which is the implementation of the new IFRS 15 Revenue Standard that establishes principles for reporting useful information to users of financial statements about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from an entity’s contracts with customers.