This announcement is part of the long-term strategy to increase access to high speed Internet in rural Saskatchewan that was introduced at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities 2013 annual conference. SaskTel is investing $1.2 million in the expansion that will result in enhanced ability for both private customers using the Internet for home entertainment and business customers doing work on a provincial, national and international scale.
“Rural Saskatchewan is experiencing unprecedented growth and prosperity and with that comes opportunity,” said Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “By providing these communities with high speed Internet, our government is opening up doors for entrepreneurs that want to live outside of our major centers but still need access to how business is done in the world today. Those businesses simply cannot work with old fashioned dial-up Internet.”
SaskTel’s Rural Strategy is working to enhance communications options for residents of rural Saskatchewan. SaskTel is upgrading speeds in over 200 existing DSL communities this year, in addition to expanding DSL to the 50 additional communities announced today. Currently SaskTel provides DSL Internet access to 416 communities and first nations.
Other initiatives include $10.7 million allocated to expand the coverage and capacity of SaskTel’s 4G wireless network, which includes 31 new towers and 37 network enhancements. As well, SaskTel plans to introduce a new LTE fixed-wireless product to facilitate broadband access in rural locations pending results of a LTE-TDD fixed wireless trial underway and scheduled for completion in August.
SaskTel High Speed Internet services allows simultaneous phone and online access, unlimited Internet access and downloading, spam and email virus filtering, around-the-clock helpdesk support and installation all for one low price.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corporation (SaskTel.com) is the leading full service communications provider in Saskatchewan, with $1.2 billion in annual revenue and over 1.4 million customer connections including over 607,000 wireless accesses, 492,000 wireline network accesses, 250,000 internet accesses and 97,000 Max™ (TV) subscribers. SaskTel offers a wide range of communications products and services including competitive voice, data, internet, entertainment, security monitoring, 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 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs).