Telus Investing $3 Billion in BC Over Next 3 Years -- Hiring 1300 people


Mar 2, 2012

TELUS will invest $3 billion in advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities over the next three years in British Columbia.

Vancouver, B.C. – Hiring 1,300 people, bringing world’s fastest wireless service to four million British Columbians, bridging the digital divide, building one of the world’s greenest data centres in Kamloops, and starting construction on B.C.’s first LEED Platinum office tower.

This significant investment builds on the more than $26 billion the company has invested in technology and operations in the province since 2000. It will fuel the expansion of TELUS’ advanced wireless and wireline broadband networks across the province and the construction of TELUS Garden, the most advanced office and residential development in the province’s history.

“The economic backbone of our province relies on investment and innovation. TELUS’ $3 billion investment over the next three years will support significant economic and community development in every region of British Columbia,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “We will continue to expand wireline broadband access to rural and remote communities and deliver the world’s fastest wireless technology to almost 90 per cent of British Columbians by the end of this year. We are building the communications technology and infrastructure that will help B.C. companies compete on the world stage, create local employment opportunities, and advance healthcare and education across the province.”

Already British Columbia’s largest private sector employer, TELUS' investments will result in the hiring of 1,300 people across B.C. TELUS is hiring 800 people this year alone to support its Optik TV and wireless growth and an additional 500 jobs will be created for the construction of TELUS Garden.

“As important as our infrastructure investments are to our success, our commitment to local communities is near and dear to our hearts. TELUS believes deeply in the symbiotic relationship between the success of business and the welfare of our communities,” continued Mr. Entwistle. “We embrace a simple philosphophy – we give where we live – and we take great pride in the social outcomes we are helping to realize. Outcomes such as contributing $1 million to help Jeneece Edroff build Jeneece Place, a home away from home for families on Vancouver Island who must travel to Victoria for their child’s medical care. We are also working closely with the David Foster Foundation to support B.C. families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants and to inspire Canadians to register as organ donors. Since 2000, our TELUS family of 25,000 employees and retirees in B.C. has donated over $100 million dollars and, more importantly, volunteered 2.4 million hours, with our hearts and our hands, to community and charitable organisations here in our home province. Additionally, the TELUS team will contribute a further $10 million dollars to local, grassroots community projects in 2012.”

TELUS’ $3 billion investment will:

• Extend its new 4G LTE wireless network from Vancouver to more than four million British Columbians in 20 communities this year alone – close to 90 per cent of the province’s population. This year, TELUS will extend service to Burnaby, Delta, North Vancouver, Richmond, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Surrey/White Rock, Hope, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Victoria, Whistler, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Prince George, and Dawson Creek, with more to come over the next few years if TELUS is able to secure the necessary wireless spectrum through Industry Canada’s upcoming spectrum auctions. 4G LTE is the most advanced, fastest wireless technology available in the world today.

• TELUS will invest $350 million so that 97 per cent of all British Columbians have access to high speed internet. That investment will see fiber optic cable installed to connect 450 schools, providing our students and teachers with a global technology advantage. Up to 119 communities will benefit from faster internet speeds and importantly, we will extend wireless coverage along 1,700 kilometres of remote highways to enhance communication and safety for British Columbians.

• Connect 35 remote and geographically challenging B.C. communities to broadband internet this year, including Moyie, Manning Park, Clucluz Lake, Kitwanga, Canoe Creek, Hansard, Beaver Valley, Wet’suwet’en, Reid Lake, Boswell, Appledale, Elko, Bridge River, Jaffray, Little Shuswap Lake, Duncan Lake, Christina Lake, Inklyuhkinatko, Kanaka, Neskonlith, Nicomen, Nooaitch, Sahhaltkum, Siska, Trout Lake, Marble Bay, Ditidaht, Tork, Pender Harbour, Puckatholetchin, Saltry Bay, and Skatin.

• Build TELUS Garden, a $750 million, one-million square foot development in downtown Vancouver. Demolition of the parkade at Richards and Georgia officially gets underway today, making room for a 24-storey, 500,000-square foot signature office tower. Combined with a 53-storey residential tower, the development will radically transform an aging block of downtown Vancouver into one of the most technologically and environmentally advanced mixed-use developments in North America. The residential tower will be built to the LEED Gold standard while the office tower will be the first to meet Canada’s LEED Platinum standard.

• Extend Optik TV to communities such as Penticton and Nanaimo this year. By the end of 2012, TELUS will expand its Optik TV service to reach 1.3 million B.C. households. At the end of 2011, TELUS had 509,000 TV customers, adding 56,000 in the final three months of the year.

• Create one of the world’s greenest data centres in Kamloops. TELUS’ $100 million investment in the community over the next three years will also extend its wireless network and bring Optik TV to even more local neighbourhoods.

• Through our partnership with the All Nations Trust Company, connect 50 First Nations communities to high speed internet over the next three years. This $23 million investment is supporting First Nations communities such as the Doig River First Nation, located 70 kilometers northeast of Fort St. John.

• Help further bridge the digital divide by bringing advanced telecommunications to rural communities such as Blue River – where, for the first time, 3,500 residents will have high-speed internet and cell phone coverage along remote stretches of the Yellowhead Highway.

• Deliver an unparalleled fan experience inside BC Place. Canada’s first all-digital stadium now has 500 kilometres of fibre optic cable, 800 Wi-Fi access points, 100 new wireless sites and 1,150 high-definition digital screens. BC Place is now one of the most advanced stadiums in North America, rivaling revered icons such as Yankees Stadium in New York and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

• Continue to improve lives and save healthcare dollars through the company’s healthcare technology. On February 2, TELUS acquired Wolf Medical Systems, a Surrey-based company that provides cloud-based electronic medical records to 1,500 doctors in B.C. and Alberta. All 75 people working for Wolf have joined TELUS to create a new division called TELUS Physician Solutions, which will provide Canadian doctors and other healthcare providers technology to help them use and share patient information to improve service delivery and patient outcomes. This acquisition builds on the $1 billion TELUS has invested to become Canada’s leading healthcare IT provider. TELUS’ healthcare solutions are backed by a team of 1,500 health innovators who are dedicated to transforming healthcare and delivering better patient outcomes.

• Support unique community fundraising projects in Cranbrook, Trail, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Ashcroft, Campbell River, Victoria, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Similar programs in 2011 raised $375,000 for a new lodge for cancer patients in Prince George and $350,000 for new equipment at the Kelowna General Hospital.

The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS' overall capital expenditure guidance for 2012.