SaskTel became the latest Canadian carrier to turn to fiber for its broadband requirements. The carrier announced April 5 a CAN$199 million expansion program for 2011 and a total of approximately $670 million over a seven-year period for its Next Generation Broadband Access Program (2011 – 2017). The program will see fiber to the premises (FTTP) and other broadband network upgrades in Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Swift Current, Yorkton, North Battleford, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
The major parts of the 2011 brodband program include:
- A CAN$16 million investment for DSL sustainment and FTTP deployment which will begin the process of passing all the homes in the nine major centers listed above by 2017. In 2011, SaskTel will begin servicing residences in Regina and Saskatoon with FTTP technology.
- SaskTel will invest a further CAN$52 million to continue construction of its 4G wireless network.
- The carrier also will invest CAN$27 million to continue the Rural Infrastructure Program.
“Saskatchewan continues to be a growing and dynamic place,” said Bill Boyd, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “The deployment of FTTP will create the bandwidth capacity to allow SaskTel to deploy exciting new next generation technologies to better serve the people of Saskatchewan.”
“Since the beginning of 2008, we’ve invested approximately $800 million in our network,” SaskTel President and CEO Ron Styles said. “Our ongoing network investment allows us to be the best at connecting people to their world by providing the best customer experience through our superior networks, exceptional service, advanced solutions, and applications.”
Other Canadian carriers with substantial FTTP/FTTH deployments include Telus (see "Green is good for 2009 FTTXcellence Award winner") and Bell Aliant (see "Chuck Hartlen of Bell Aliant earns 2010 FTTXcellence Award").