I might be more inclined to believe Telus was doing wonderful things for our infrastructure if this press release wasn’t almost identical to one the company sent out last week, except that one touted the work they were doing in Alberta and they’re spending an million more in BC than they did in Alberta. I’m sure that Telus isn’t the only corporation that recycles press releases for different areas, this is just the first time I’ve noticed it – maybe because of the UBB and price-gouging practices of the Telecos and the fact that I am not a Telus fan…or maybe I’m just cranky today.
TELUS is investing $670 million across British Columbia this year to further expand and enhance its wireless and wireline networks. This year’s network investment builds upon the $24 billion TELUS has invested in its operations and technology in the province in the last 10 years. (versus 23 billion in Alberta)
In 2011, TELUS will continue to invest in its Optik TV and high-speed Internet services as it lays thousands of kilometres of fibre optic lines to support the growing demand in the province. The company will also deliver British Columbians access to even better and faster wireless broadband services by installing 76 new cell sites and introducing HSPA+ Dual Cell technology, one of the most advanced wireless technologies in the world.
After a decade of focused investment in leading-edge technology TELUS has:
* Extended TELUS wireless service to 99 per cent of B.C.’s (Alberta’s) population. With the introduction of a world-leading 4G wireless network offering manufacturer rated peak download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second – and soon up to 42 megabits per second* – British Columbians (and Albertans) have access to extremely fast wireless high-speed Internet anywhere within TELUS’ vast network coverage area. (does this include mountainous areas like the Fraser Canyon & the Coquihalla?)
* Made wireline broadband available to 95 per cent of B.C. (Alberta) households, including a selection of Internet plans with speeds up to 25 megabits per second. The company also expanded availability of TELUS’ Optik TV to more than 1 million households across the province. (same number in Alberta)
* By the end of last year, 314,000 customers in British Columbia, Alberta and Eastern Quebec had switched their TV service to TELUS. (last week they implied 314 000 Albertans had switched)
* Enabled healthcare institutions to improve the flow of information across the continuum of care through electronic health records accessible on both wireless and wireline networks. Recently, 2000 TELUS team members and their families began a pilot of TELUS Health Space; paving the way for millions of Canadians to take control of their own health records with the ultimate goal of shifting the focus from remediation to prevention of illness.
“Our planned $670 million investment this year in advanced communications technology continues TELUS’ track record of providing British Columbians (Albertans) with access to telecommunications and entertainment services that are the envy of the world,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO (last week he said that Telus had a proud history of providing service to Albertans. I guess that pride does not extend to the west coast). “This year, TELUS will continue to bring the innovations of Optik TV and faster Internet speeds to even more British Columbians (and Albertans). We will continue to bring citizens faster wireless broadband services as we introduce HSPA+ Dual Cell technology, one of the most advanced wireless technologies in the world, to more B.C. (Alberta) communities. TELUS is also committed to working with all levels of government in B.C. (and Alberta) to advance the provision of life-changing healthcare and education services over our networks.”
By the end of 2010, TELUS had installed the infrastructure necessary to bring wireline broadband Internet speeds of up to 25 megabits per second and Optik TV to more than 1 million households in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, Victoria, Campbell River, Whistler, Kelowna, Vernon and Prince George (and more than 1 million households in Alberta communities including Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, to name a few). Optik TV runs over a high-speed Internet connection, providing customers with game-changing services and features as well as more than 480 channels, including 85 in High Definition (HD).
In 2011, TELUS will also continue to expand its 4G wireless network across B.C. (Alberta). Already the most extensive network in the province reaching 99 per cent of the population (same as Alberta), TELUS will install about 76 new cell sites (80 in Alberta) to bring service to even more rural communities and highway corridors and strengthen its coverage in urban centres. Earlier this year, TELUS announced it will introduce the Dual Cell upgrade to its HSPA+ network, doubling the manufacturer rated peak wireless Internet speeds to up to 42 megabits per second.
Mr. Entwistle added TELUS’ commitment to British Columbia (Alberta) communities extends beyond infrastructure and new services. “Since 2000, TELUS has partnered with our 15,000 B.C. (14 000 Albertan) team members and retirees to contribute $92 million and 2.1 million volunteer hours ($82 million and 1.1 million volunteer hours in Alberta) to charitable and community organizations in all corners of B.C. (and Alberta),” Mr. Entwistle said. “Building on our tradition of community giving, this year alone TELUS plans to contribute an additional $10 million (12 million in Alberta) to charitable organizations and community initiatives across the province.”
TELUS was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the 2010 Most Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation globally, the first time a Canadian company has ever received this international honour. TELUS has supported more than 1,100 British Columbia (see comparison below) charitable and non-profit organizations, including BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Union Gospel Mission, BC Cancer Foundation, University of British Columbia, BC Women’s Hospital, the David Foster Foundation and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. In addition, TELUS has donated more than $2.4 million to community organizations on Vancouver Island, and in Sechelt, Kelowna, Prince George, Vernon, Penticton, Powell River, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Ashcroft with its Optik TV and Satellite TV campaigns. Moreover, the TELUS Vancouver and Victoria Community Boards supported their respective communities with $5 million in funding for Vancouver and Victoria grassroots charities since 2005.
Charitable paragraph from last week’s press release:
TELUS has supported more than 1,000 Alberta charitable and non-profit organizations, including the TELUS World of Science in Calgary and Edmonton (but not World of Science in Vancouver), the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, the Calgary Humane Society, the Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta/North West Territories Division) and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. In addition, TELUS has donated $1.1 million to community organizations in Airdire, Ft. McMurray, Grand Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, with its Optik TV campaigns. Moreover, the TELUS Edmonton and Calgary Community Boards supported their respective communities with $6.6 million in funding for Edmonton and Calgary charities since 2005. In total, TELUS has donated over $25 million in charitable funding in Alberta in 2010 and 2011.
The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS’ overall capital expenditure target for 2011.