TELUS broadband and 5G networks and technology will enable more residents and businesses on Haida Gwaii to connect online to critical healthcare, education and teleworking flexibility
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS is investing $10 million to bring enhanced cellular service and broadband Internet to Haida Gwaii. In June, TELUS completed upgrades to the Mascon by TELUS high-speed Internet network that now provides access to speeds up to 120 Mbps for residents and businesses in Daajing Giids and Skidegate. In addition to enhancing broadband connectivity throughout the region, TELUS recently completed upgrades to its local wireless infrastructure, bringing residents, business, and visitors access to high-speed wireless voice and Internet services in these communities for the first time. These investments build upon TELUS' Reconciliation Commitment and are critical to providing Indigenous Peoples with access to superior technology that connects them to the people, resources and information that make their lives better.
"Our longstanding investments on Haida Gwaii are supporting critical, transformational change in respect to enabling online healthcare, education, and the ability to work from home or operate a local business and compete globally,” said Tony Geheran, TELUS EVP and Chief Operations Officer. “We continue to engage with communities and Indigenous leaders in ways that they want to engage with us, and believe it is our responsibility as a socially purpose driven organization to use our voice, business and relationships to encourage Reconciliation across Canada. As part of our local efforts to support where it’s needed, we were privileged to partner with the Council of Haida Nation, Haida Gwaii Museum and School District 50 early in the pandemic to support Elders to stay connected through access to tablets.”
In support of TELUS’ continued efforts to connect Indigenous communities to the life-changing power of high-speed Internet and mobility solutions, TELUS developed its Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy and Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan through an inclusive, culturally relevant process. The plan was guided by Indigenous voices and frameworks of reconciliation with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the diverse Indigenous communities in the areas we serve. Locally on Haida Gwaii, TELUS engaged with leadership throughout these network enhancements, hired local workers, and used locally operated equipment rentals to complete the recent upgrades.
“When the pandemic hit we knew we needed to ensure our Elders were protected. When we approached TELUS and Mascon by TELUS, early in the pandemic they listened and worked with us as members of our community to support our iPads for Elders program, including enabling connectivity to 35 Indigenous and non-Indigenous Elders,” said Jisgang Nika Collison, Executive Director & Chief Curator of the Haida Gwaii Museum. “In a time of such instability and fear the team showed nothing but respect for our Elders. We appreciate the ongoing partnership. Haawa.”
“Skidegate Band Council appreciates and supports the expansion of connectivity into our community. Our relationship with TELUS via Mascon has led to infrastructure implementation and the creation of connectivity and support for our members and local government with their fibre connections,” said Chief Councillor Billy Yovanovich, Skidegate Band Council. “It came at a time when connectivity was lacking in many areas. Haawa (Thank You).”
Over the last 15 years, TELUS has made significant investments to enhance connectivity on Haida Gwaii, providing cellular and Internet coverage to 13 communities on the Islandi: Queen Charlotte City, Skidegate, Skidegate Landing, Sandspit, Port Clements Haina, Alliford Bay, Sewall, Tlell, Lawnhill, Old Masset, Masset, Delkatla, and the Haida Gwaii Hospital (Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdll Naay), along with 9 Reserve Lands including Yan 1, Masset 1, Sauchten 18, Tlaa Gaa Aawtlaas 28, Ain 6, Lanas 4, Skaigha 2, Skidegate 1, and Khrana 4. In 2019, TELUS invested $500,000 in Port Clements to bring cell phone service to the community and surrounding areas for the very first time.
In May, TELUS announced the investment of $17.5 billion in network infrastructure, operations, and spectrum across British Columbia over the next four years and has committed to investing $70 billion overall across Canada by 2026.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $17 billion in annual revenue and 17 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Our social purpose is to leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to drive social change and enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. The numerous, sustained accolades TELUS has earned over the years from independent, industry-leading network insight firms showcase the strength and speed of TELUS’ global-leading networks, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better.
TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-generation solutions, including AI and content management, for global and disruptive brands across high-growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media, ecommerce and FinTech, healthcare, and travel and hospitality. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world.
Driven by our determination and vision to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $900 million and 1.8 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.
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