SaskTel Increases Investment In Fibre Optic Broadband Technology

The Funding Will Put Fibre Optic Broadband Into An Additional 24 Saskatchewan Communities Than Was Previously Planned By The End Of 2023.

SaskTel Is Doubling Its Efforts To Put Fibre Optic Broadband Technology Into Rural Saskatchewan. The Crown corporation announced Friday it was putting $50 million into its Rural Fibre Initiative, increasing its investment to $100 million. The Funding Will Put Fibre Optic Broadband Into An Additional 24 Saskatchewan Communities Than Was Previously Planned By The End Of 2023. More than 30,000 more rural residents and businesses will get access to the infrastructure.

“Expanding access to leading-edge broadband technology is critical in preparing Saskatchewan for its future,” Minister Responsible for SaskTel Don Morgan said in a media release.

“As so many of us have adapted to online learning and new ways of working, we have become ever more dependent on high speed internet services. This major investment by SaskTel will help set the stage for Saskatchewan’s future and ensure that our province is ready for the post-COVID world with the most advanced communications infrastructure available.”

The initiative, which was announced in December, is expected to put SaskTel’s broadband service in more than 40 rural Saskatchewan communities by the end of 2023. Communities in the first phase of the program include Balgonie, Biggar, Langham and Pilot Butte. Construction already has begun, so SaskTel expects the majority of homes and businesses will be fibre ready by the end of March 2022.

The second phase includes Kindersley, Meadow Lake and Rosetown, with construction to begin in those communities later this year. Construction is to start in Canora, Carlyle, Esterhazy, Fort Qu’Appelle, Hudson Bay, Indian Head, Kamsack, La Ronge, Lumsden, Maple Creek, Moosomin, Shaunavon, Watrous and Wynyard in 2022. Communities included in the fourth phase — the additional investment of $50 million — are to be announced at a later date.

Once the initiative is complete, SaskTel estimates approximately 75 per cent of the province’s population will have access to its fibre optic broadband network. The company also plans to investigate the possibility of finding another Internet service provider or contractor to deliver the service to other communities currently not included in the initiative.

This news was originally published at Battle Ford Snow.

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