SaskTel Makes Massive Record-Setting Investments for Rural 5G and Broadband Internet in 2023-24
In 2023-24, SaskTel will allocate $106 million toward accelerating the expansion of its fibre optic broadband network to more communities included in SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative (RFI), including the Village of Borden, located 30 minutes northwest of Saskatoon (Photo courtesy of Tara Burletoff).
As part of SaskTel’s ongoing commitment to deliver cutting-edge communications services and help strengthen Saskatchewan’s economy, the Crown corporation recently announced that it will invest approximately $413 million of capital in 2023/24 and more than $1.6 billion over the next five years.
Included in this year’s expenditures, SaskTel is planning to invest more in wireless and fibre optic broadband infrastructure than it ever has in a single fiscal year. With a central focus on rural areas, these record setting investments will allow SaskTel to accelerate the expansion of its 5G wireless network and SaskTel infiNETTM service across the province.
“SaskTel is firmly committed to enhancing the lives of our customers across the province,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “The massive investments we are planning to make in wireless and fibre optic broadband technologies will allow more of our customers to experience the true power of these world-class services.”
With an unparalleled $160 million earmarked for 5G expansion and deployment, SaskTel plans to upgrade over 260 cell phone towers to 5G – with 200 of those towers located in rural areas. Designed to deliver ultra-fast data speeds at-launch, as the 5G network evolves it will support the emergence and wide-spread deployment of smart cities, virtual healthcare, immersive education, smart agriculture and many other technological innovations that will improve the quality of life and drive economic development across Saskatchewan.
“Having a fibre broadband network will put smaller communities like the Village of Borden on a more level playing field with larger communities.”
– Mayor Jamie Brandrick, Village of Borden
Another $106 million will be allocated toward expanding SaskTel’s infiNET network—which is also already the largest fibre optic broadband network in Saskatchewan.
The majority of this expenditure will accelerate the expansion of fibre to more communities included in SaskTel’s Rural Fibre Initiative (RFI)—a multi-phase program that will see the company invest $200 million to bring infiNET service to over 110,000 residents and businesses living and operating in more than 130 rural communities.
Included in this year’s Capital Expenditures, SaskTel plans to upgrade over 260 cell phone towers to 5G – with 200 of those towers located in rural areas (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
Delivering incredible internet speeds reaching close to a Gigabit per second (Gbps), infiNET subscribers can surf, stream, and share however much content they want in real time. Plus, as a fibre-based network, SaskTel will be able to grow the capacity of the infiNET network to support the evolving bandwidth needs of customers and increasing popularity of cloud services, video streaming, and smart technologies.
The Village of Borden, located 30 minutes northwest of Saskatoon, is one of 48 communities included in Phase 6 of the RFI.
“Having a fibre broadband network will put smaller communities like the Village of Borden on a more level playing field with larger communities,” said Jamie Brandrick, Mayor of the Village of Borden. “This new infrastructure will help us attract new businesses and residents to Borden and help those already living and working in Borden to expand their earning and learning potential.”
Another $70.5 million is set to be spent on technology to help to modernize SaskTel’s core wireline and wireless networks, upgrade SaskTel selectWI-FI, enhance maxTV infrastructure, and improve its access networks.
Finally, $76.5 million will be dedicated to customer services and operations to support customer growth and enhance customer experiences by delivering seamless interactions across all channels, including SaskTel’s frontlines and self-serve options.
Collectively, these investments build on SaskTel’s unwavering commitment to providing world-class services to the people of Saskatchewan, ultimately helping to strengthen the economy and create a more connected future for the province.
For more information about how SaskTel is investing in Saskatchewan and the communities it serves please visit https://www.sasktel.com/about-us/committied-to-saskatchewan/.