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Saskatchewan first nations band offices and tribal councils to receive fibre optic technology

Saskatchewan First Nations band offices and tribal councils to receive fibre optic technology

Today SaskTel announced that they have partnered with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and all Saskatchewan First Nations and Tribal Councils to bring dedicated Internet over fibre to 80 Saskatchewan First Nations offices and 10 tribal council offices.

Fibre will allow each office to utilize web and video conferencing, instant messaging, and desktop and data sharing, as well as be able to access data centre services and retrieve electronic documents and records at the speed of business. These capabilities will be especially useful for offices located in northern Saskatchewan.

“SaskTel is pleased to partner with INAC, FSIN, and the Tribal Councils in Saskatchewan to bring our fibre optic network to tribal councils and First Nations all across Saskatchewan,” said Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO. “This partnership demonstrates SaskTel’s commitment to provide equitable access to communications services for all residents of Saskatchewan.”

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping First Nations communities bridge the digital divide by working with partners to ensure that they have equitable and comparable access to high-speed internet,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister Responsible for Indigenous and Northern Affairs. “This initiative with SaskTel and the FSIN will increase communications access in remote and underserved First Nations in Saskatchewan enhancing their ability to access e-government services areas such as e-health, e-learning, and e-water remote monitoring services.”

“This is an important communication initiative for our First Nation communities,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “Our focus will always be about promoting, protecting and implementing our Inherent and Treaty Rights. The ability to have modern communication platforms like websites and social media will help our communities stay in touch with their band membership informing them about the important Treaty work they are undertaking.”

Through the Building Canada Fund, INAC is providing the entire investment of approximately $2.3 million required for this project, which is expected to see all offices fibre-optic enabled and online by the end of 2018.

About SaskTel

SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.2 billion in annual revenue and approximately 1.4 million customer connections including 617,000 wireless accesses, 395,000 wireline network accesses, 272,000 Internet accesses and over 110,000 maxTV™ subscribers. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer a wide range of ICT products and services including competitive voice, data and Internet services, wireless data services, maxTV services, data centre services, cloud-based services, security monitoring services, advertising services, and international software and consulting services. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). Visit SaskTel at www.sasktel.com.

For more information, please contact:

Greg Jacobs, SaskTel Manager of External Communications
Phone: 306.777.3433   
Email: Greg.Jacobs@sasktel.com