Connecting Rural Canadians: in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and beyond

On Monday, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most spectacularly beautiful places I have ever been, Yellowknife, NWT. I was thrilled to visit The Land of the Midnight Sun to announce the arrival of TELUS products and services in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and other communities in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, starting September 6.

AG post 1

Andrea with Kathy Gray from the NWT Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Mark Heyck and Rebecca Alty from Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation.

TELUS’ arrival in Northern Canada is fantastic news because not only do our friends in the north have access to great TELUS products and services on our super-fast network, but they also have access to choice – for the first time ever, northern Canadians have more than one option when it comes to 4G wireless carriers.

Competition has finally made it to our northern communities, and that can only mean better selection and access to the fastest network speeds in the world. In June, CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais singled out northern Canada in a speech he delivered at the Telecom Summit where he expressed “serious concerns” about the service available to northern communities. He cited numerous complaints about the quality, prices and variety of services available, not to mention the number of service outages experienced north of 60.

AG 2When those concerns were expressed, what the CRTC didn’t know was that TELUS was already carefully planning our launch in Northern Canada! We are really excited to be able to provide northerners with enhanced quality and quantity of service offerings, on a globally leading network.

Offering choice and introducing competition is something TELUS is able to do because we’ve spent over a decade investing in a network that reaches more than 99 per cent of the Canadian population, nearly 80 per cent of whom have access to the world’s fastest technology on our 4G LTE network. Among that 80 per cent we can now include northern communities like Yellowknife, Hay River and Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories and Whitehorse in the Yukon – with more communities slated to join us soon.

As this week’s launch shows, TELUS is committed to all of Canada – from coast to coast to coast. We have invested $102 billion in communities across Canada since 2000, and we are very proud of the $3 million we have invested so far in our north. A big part of our commitment is making sure that our rural and remote customers share the same technology as our urban customers and, as of September 6, any one of the 20,000 citizens of Yellowknife or the 25,000 residents of Whitehorse can experience data download speeds just as fast as any of the one million people in my hometown of Calgary.

That’s pretty incredible – and living proof of TELUS’ commitment to bridge the digital divide and invest in a network that extends right across this beautiful, vast, geographically diverse country of ours. As we continue to connect even more Canadians, we are also continuing with our video series, Connecting Rural Canadians, featuring some of our customers overcoming challenges in remote corners of Western Canada. Last week, I kicked off the series through my blog and introduced you to Mark as part of Erynn’s story. Now, he’s here to tell you his story; how he’s been given the freedom to move mountains. Be sure to visit my blog again next week to view the third video in our series.

Once again, welcome to TELUS, Northern Canada!  I look forward to welcoming even more of our northern communities to the TELUS family later in 2013 and beyond.