Sasktel to Invest Extra $100 Million to Expand Rural Fibre Internet
The Saskatchewan government announced this week it will invest an extra $100 million into its Rural Fibre Initiative to expand SaskTel’s infiNET service, bringing access to over 80 more towns and villages throughout the province.
According to the province, this investment will expand SaskTel’s fibre optic broadband network to “tens of thousands” of more rural homes and businesses.
“Our government is committed to growing Saskatchewan’s economy and improving the quality of life for all people of our province,” Minister Responsible for SaskTel Don Morgan said in a statement. “The massive investments being made by SaskTel to expand their fibre optic broadband network across Saskatchewan will help create a more connected and prosperous future for our people, our communities and our province.”
The crown corporation’s infiNET service offers internet speeds close to a gigabit per second.
“Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) has long advocated for improvement in broadband services, in particular for smaller communities where access has lagged behind that of larger centres in our province,” added SUMA President Randy Goulden. “We are pleased to see SaskTel continue to address this gap with additional funding. Connectivity is a priority for all our communities, and key to the viability of our smaller members in the future.”
The Rural Fibre Initiative from 2020 is a multi-phase program to expand Sasktel infiNET service to over 110,000 residents and businesses in over 130 rural communities, part of a $200 million investment. The program is expected to complete its rural internet rollout by the end of March 2025, reaching nearly 80 percent of Saskatchewan households.
SaskTel says it is finalizing Phase 6 communities still, while Phases 1 through 5 have already been established.
SaskTel President and CEO Doug Burnett said the internet investment and the province’s 5G wireless network “will ensure we remain one of the most well-connected regions in the country while also helping to accelerate Saskatchewan’s transition to becoming a smart province.”