Dozens of First Nations in the province can expect better Internet service and more extensive coverage – it is just not clear how long it will take to get this service.
Today, SaskTel announced a $400 million investment to create a new high-speed data network for the province.
The service expansion will be launched in the major cities tomorrow and will be expanded to other cities across the province throughout the year.
SaskTel President Ron Styles says the plan is to expand the enhanced fibre optic network to the province’s 88 First Nations reserves.
“We’re taking fibre right now to 88 First Nations across the province,” he says. Fibre is really our transport capacity. With fibre we have also come to arrangements with the federal government and First Nations to start building towers on reserve. So you’re now seeing 4G as well as fibre services being available to the residents.”
However, Styles could not give an exact time frame as to when First Nations communities will get this enhanced service.
The 4G service will utilize twice the number of towers and be 33 per cent faster than the existing service.
SaskTel Minister Don McMorris says the growing economy along with increased demand will be accommodated by the new network.
Over a five-year period from 2008 until 2013, SaskTel has spent about $1 billion to upgrade its high-speed network.