This program will deploy Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) and upgrade the broadband network in the nine largest urban centers in the province – Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Swift Current, Yorkton, North Battleford and Prince Albert.
“Saskatchewan continues to be a growing and dynamic place,” said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “The deployment of FTTP will create the bandwidth capacity to allow SaskTel to deploy exciting new next generation technologies to better serve the people of Saskatchewan.”
“Since the beginning of 2008, we’ve invested approximately $800 million in our network,” SaskTel President and CEO Ron Styles said. “Our ongoing network investment allows us to be the best at connecting people to their world by providing the best customer experience through our superior networks, exceptional service, advanced solutions and applications.”
Residential and business customers in communities across the province can expect improved and expanded SaskTel services as a result of this latest major capital investment. The investment will ensure SaskTel customers in Saskatchewan continue to receive some of the best wireless, Max, internet, data and future IP-based services in the world.
Highlights of this year’s investment program include:
• In 2011, SaskTel will invest $16 million in its Next Generation Broadband Access Program. This includes DSL sustainment and FTTP deployment which targets to have 100% of homes in the nine major centres in the province passed by 2017. In 2011, SaskTel will begin servicing residences in Regina and Saskatoon with FTTP technology.
Fiber to the Premises will offer speeds that far exceed those of SaskTel’s current network and will allow SaskTel to deploy speeds up to 200 Mbps initially, with the capacity to significantly increase speeds over time. Customers will enjoy faster download and upload speeds to enhance the online experience when downloading or streaming video, uploading photos and videos, and participating in real-time gaming and video chat. Extending Fiber to the Premises will also support more HD capable set top boxes, the ability to combine faster internet speeds with Max and allow SaskTel to continue improving the TV watching experience.
• In 2011, SaskTel will invest $52 million to continue construction of its 4G wireless network. The 4G network provides increased bandwidth with download speeds approximately 4 times faster than existing speeds (up to 21 megabits per second). The 4G wireless network delivers increased bandwidth, greater international roaming and a wider selection of wireless device.
• SaskTel will invest $27 million to continue the Rural Infrastructure Program –
o $15 million will be invested as part of the overall initiative to upgrade more than 220 High Speed Internet Basic communities from 1.5 Mbps to 5 Mbps by the end of 2011. A total of 209 communities have been upgraded since March 2010. SaskTel will make announcements regarding additional upgrade locations as they are completed.
o In 2011, SaskTel will invest $12 million to expand and improve its existing wireless network, including the addition of new digital cellular sites across the province. This is the final year of a 3 year program to build 55 new cellular towers in the province.
• Evolving SaskTel’s leading-edge Max™ Entertainment Services – Max is a full-featured digital television service with more than 190 digital TV channels, 47 HD channels, Digital TV Recorder, High Speed Internet, Video-on-Demand, Pay-Per-View and Local on Demand. SaskTel will invest approximately $7 million in Max this year to expand the service to new communities, meet customer demand and make ongoing enhancements. The project will expand Max™ Entertainment Services and offer higher internet speeds to 8 more communities in 2011 (Canora, Esterhazy, Kamsack, Kindersley, Meadow Lake, Nipawin, Rosetown, and Tisdale).
• Other network expenditures –include:
o High speed internet expansion for First Nations – $9 million.
o Basic network growth and enhancements – $54 million.
o Voice Over Internet Protocol – $11 million.
o Other Network Expenditures - $23 million
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel.com) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.15 billion in annual revenue and more than 1.4 million customer connections including more than 560,000 wireless accesses, 543,000 wireline network accesses, 225,000 Internet accesses and 83,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel offers a wide range of communications products and services including competitive voice, data, Internet, entertainment, national security, messaging, cellular, wireless data and directory services. In addition, SaskTel International offers software solutions and project consulting in countries around the world. In 2009, SaskTel contributed more than $651 million to the Saskatchewan economy through dollars spent with Saskatchewan-based suppliers and sponsorships to non-profit organizations. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,800 employees.