The more than $670 million, seven-year, Next Generation Broadband Access Program (2011 – 2017) 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.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of our commitment to fund innovative capital projects in the Crown sector,” Minister responsible for Crown Investments Corporation Tim McMillan said. “Since 2008, we’ve seen an unprecedented capital investment of nearly $2.8 billion by the four major Crowns with another $1.6 billion budgeted in 2011. We’re keeping pace with demand growth, a byproduct of Saskatchewan’s remarkable economic climate, as well as providing safe, reliable high quality services and renewing aging infrastructure.”
“The Fiber to the Premises network will be able to support the best High Speed Internet, Max and future IP-based services in the world,” SaskTel President and CEO Ron Styles said. “We believe that the deployment of fiber at the U of S College Quarter will provide residents with access to the highest quality services and enhance the overall residential student experience.”
Fiber to the Premises will offer speeds that far exceed those of any current network and will allow SaskTel to deploy speeds up to 200 Mbps initially, with the capacity to increase speeds to 1 GBps by the end of this decade. 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 improve the TV experience as well as introduce Voice over Internet to Saskatchewan subscribers.
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. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,100 full-time equivalent employees.