EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Apr 6, 2015) - TELUS intends to invest $4.2 billion in new infrastructure and facilities across Alberta through 2018, including $1 billion this year alone. When combined with operational expenses, this will bring the total TELUS investment in Alberta over the next four years to more than $11 billion. This significant investment will result in TELUS having invested more than $45 billion in Alberta since 2000 to further extend advanced telecommunications infrastructure and healthcare services, ensuring sustained innovation and fueling economic growth.
"TELUS' commitment to improve the lives of Albertans by providing the world's most advanced communications technology is unwavering," said Darren Entwistle, TELUS Executive Chair. "TELUS networks now reach 99 per cent of the province, making Alberta one of the most connected places on the planet. Over the next four years, TELUS will invest $4.2 billion to link homes, hospitals, clinics, doctors and pharmacists, schools, libraries and municipal governments directly to our fibre optic network, bringing advanced broadband services to rural and urban communities. This will give more Albertans access to world-class education programmes, economic development opportunities and critical healthcare solutions in their homes, at work or when they are on the move with their smartphone or tablet. TELUS also continues construction on our new $400 million TELUS Sky office building in Calgary, further supporting the local economy by creating and sustaining jobs and opportunity."
"TELUS is showing confidence in the Alberta economy, and creating the jobs and infrastructure people will rely on for years to come," said Premier Jim Prentice. "We appreciate the company's commitment to growth, and their ability to bring the best technology to Albertans' doorsteps."
Mr. Entwistle concluded, "TELUS' dedication to Alberta and its citizens and communities extends well beyond our investments in operations and infrastructure. Since 2000, TELUS has remitted income, payroll, property and other taxes totalling more than $667 million to provincial and municipal governments in Alberta, supporting critical social services in communities across the province. Moreover, TELUS and our 14,000 team members, community board members and retirees who live and work in Alberta have been active with their hearts and hands across the province, donating more than $109 million and working nearly 1.7 million volunteer hours with charitable organizations since 2000."
TELUS' infrastructure and technology investments will advance services for the benefit of all Albertans. In 2015 and beyond TELUS expects to:
- Upgrade every wireless site in Alberta to 4G LTE, enhancing the already exceptional speed, coverage and reliability experienced by TELUS customers;
- Connect more homes and businesses in several communities directly to TELUS' fibre optic network, dramatically enhancing Internet speeds up to 100 mbps and enabling organizations to significantly improve how they deliver services such as healthcare and education;
- Commence planning for how to best leverage TELUS' newly-purchased AWS-3 spectrum to add much needed wireless capacity across the province;
- Continue to rapidly deploy 700MHz spectrum for use in rural and urban areas;
- Invest tens of millions in continuing response to the Alberta floods, thereby protecting customer services in disaster prone areas by upgrading and strategically relocating infrastructure to mitigate risk to TELUS' network, in addition to implementing new monitoring and preparedness plans for climate related events that could impact customer service, network and team members;
- Enhance TELUS' Future Friendly Home solutions by adding new content; offering a new theme pack structure to deliver the most customer-friendly basic and speciality TV packages of any TV distributor; and offering enhanced security, data storage and email services.
- Further grow the important role of TELUS Health, which currently provides electronic medical records to more than 14,000 Canadian physicians as well as health benefits management solutions to more than 9,000 pharmacies, 11,000 dental clinics and 25,000 extended healthcare providers across the country. TELUS Health has invested more than $1.5 billion to bring patient-centric solutions to market that are improving the flow of information across the healthcare continuum and enabling better health outcomes for Albertans and all Canadians;
- Help the provincial government launch its Personal Health Portal and Personal Health Record services, giving Albertans access to self-management tools and patient education; and
- Enable physicians in pilot communities to connect with their patients through video conferencing in order to deliver an enhanced patient experience with reduced wait times and less travel.
- Meet the growing technology requirements of Alberta's resource sector throughout the entire province;
- Invest heavily in core areas of network, security, cloud computing and Internet-connected devices to facilitate Internet of Things (IoT) growth in Alberta, driving solutions that enable the oil and gas sector to further its global competitive advantage, reduce environmental impact, and increase worker safety;
- Continue construction on the environmentally and technologically-advanced LEED Platinum TELUS Sky office tower in downtown Calgary, which will create approximately 250 jobs for Calgarians as the development moves towards completion, anticipated in the fall of 2017;
- Elevate the capacity and efficiency of TELUS Calgary Internet Data Centre to meet the growing demands of new and existing customers.
- Expand the reach of TELUS WISE, a free educational program available to all Canadians focused on Internet and smartphone safety and security to help keep families safer online. Since its launch in 2013, this program has reached more than 125,000 Albertans through more than 200 community learning sessions;
- Partner with local organizations on social initiatives through TELUS Community Boards and employee charitable giving, providing an expected $5 million in funds in 2015 alone. In 2014, the Alberta TELUS Community Boards donated $1 million in support of 71 local charitable projects. Since inception, the Alberta TELUS Community Boards have donated more than $10.7 million in support of 703 local charitable projects;
- Last year, nearly 3,000 Alberta TELUS team members, retirees and family members participated in the ninth annual TELUS Days of Giving, volunteering their time at hundreds of local activities nationwide; in 2015, TELUS anticipates more than 3,200 volunteers will participate in TELUS Days of Giving in Alberta.
The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS' overall capital expenditure guidance for 2015, issued on February 12, 2015.
TELUS (TSX:T)(TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12 billion of annual revenue and 13.7 million customer connections, including 8.1 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.5 million Internet subscribers and 916,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $396 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered and more than 6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by Executive Chairman Darren Entwistle, TELUS' 11 community boards across Canada have led the company's support of grassroots charities and will have contributed $47 million in support of 3,700 local charities organizations by the end of 2015, enriching the lives of more than two million Canadian children and youth. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit www.telus.com.
This news release contains statements about expected future events, including TELUS' projected multi-year capital and operating expenditures, which are forward-looking. The investments described for 2015 through to 2018 are subject to the ongoing review and approval of TELUS' Board of Directors. By their nature, forward-looking statements require the Company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors (such as regulatory and government decisions, the competitive environment, economic conditions, our ability to purchase spectrum licences through auctions or third-parties, and our earnings, free cash flow and financial position) could cause actual capital and operating expenditures to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, this news release is subject to the disclaimer and qualified by the assumptions (including the assumptions for our 2015 annual guidance, semi-annual dividend increases through 2016, ability to sustain and complete our multi-year share purchase program through 2016), qualifications and risk factors referred to in the 2014 Management's discussion and analysis, which are specifically incorporated by reference herein, and in other TELUS public disclosure documents and filings with securities commissions in Canada (on SEDAR at www.sedar.com) and in the United States (on EDGAR at sec.gov). Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.