Telus $3.5B Infrastructure Investment Paves The Way For Remote Workforce Increase.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive business disruption, industry leaders have been champing at the bit to augment remote workforce capabilities. Organizations in Alberta will be pleased to know that Telus plans to invest upwards of $3.5 billion into the region’s wireless infrastructure by year’s end. That commitment represents part of a more substantial $16 billion investment expected to enhance remote access for residents and wide-reaching industries.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and connect, and Telus will continue to support the citizens of Alberta through this unprecedented global health emergency,” Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle reportedly said. “In response to the pandemic, we are expediting our investments this year by providing expanded access to our world-leading networks as Albertans are working remotely.”

Telus Investment Expands Wireless Connectivity

Telus remains on target to spend $950 million on a PureFibre network expansion and an additional $85 million designed to deliver high-speed capabilities to approximately 37,000 rural households before the new year. The organization anticipates the venture will provide reliable wireless connectivity to support upwards of 3,500 jobs. The expansion of services will also allow businesses to hire talented Albertans to join remote workforces.

“In addition, we are creating meaningful, family-supporting jobs for Albertans who are facing economic hardship or job losses as a result of the economic downturn,” Entwistle reportedly said. “Our networks are not only creating much-needed employment today, but they are also providing the backbone for the jobs of tomorrow and those that have yet to be imagined.”

The outfit has set lofty goals that include providing high-speed 4G LTE connectivity to 99.7 percent of the region’s population by the end of 2021. Telus officials also appear confident that 98 percent of Alberta residents will gain 5G access. These figures reportedly include 119 rural and 34 Indigenous communities. For organizations focused on ramping up remote workforces during the COVID-19 crisis, Telus has announced short-term benefits.

  • Data overage charges due to work-from-home usage through the end of April to be waived
  • Flexible payments for businesses and workers impacted by the health crisis
  • Telus Internet for Good initiative expanded and expedited in conjunction with local school boards
  • Free 90-day trials offered to remote workforces.
  • Small business incentives include $1,000 free installation and equipment.

By the end of 2021, Telus anticipates connecting approximately 245,000 total Alberta households and businesses to the fibre optic network. That goal builds on its 2019-2000 investment that exceeded $49 billion in technological upgrades.

Remote Workforce Benefits

Although the health crisis has forced many operations to switch to work-from-home production, remote workforces were already becoming the new normal. An Owl Labs survey cited by Forbes revealed that 16 percent of worldwide companies have completely online workforces, and 52 percent work offsite at least one day per week. Industry leaders have embraced the culture primarily due to the following benefits.

  • Remote workforces to be more productive
  • Reduces need for office space and other brick-and-mortar expenses
  • Open access to a broader talent pool
  • Cloud-based networks tend to be budget-friendly
  • Eliminates workday commutes
  • Reduces absenteeism

The Telus investment will certainly help businesses and employees negotiate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But thought leaders are fast discovering that a more permanent remote workforce delivers improved and cost-effective goal achievement. As high-quality remote connectivity expands in Alberta, so does the potential for a workforce culture shift.