BCE Inc and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc announced plans to expand broadband communications infrastructure in the town of Churchill, including the introduction of next-generation Gigabit Fibe Internet and Fibe TV services.
Part of the Bell MTS plan to invest $1 billion over 5 years to accelerate fibre and wireless broadband communications services in Manitoba, the Churchill infrastructure project will greatly enhance connectivity in the community and support innovation and economic development, including in the region’s growing international tourism industry with high-speed connections for Churchill resorts, hotels and lodges.
Located at the edge of the Arctic on Hudson Bay, Churchill is a northern transportation hub also known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World, attracting thousands of tourists from around the world each year for polar bear, beluga whale and bird watching and as one of the best places to experience the Northern Lights.
“The upgrade to world-class broadband services will be a welcome and much needed addition to our community,” said Michael Spence, Mayor of Churchill. “This innovative and critical piece of infrastructure will greatly enhance tourism, support regional health care, and provide additional supports for our young people through education and expanded research. In addition, the upgraded technology will support future opportunities for Canada’s only Arctic Seaport.”
“Bell MTS is proud to contribute to the Churchill community. We plan to deliver world-class communications services throughout Manitoba, from more remote communities like Churchill to the largest urban centres, all of which will benefit from the social, economic and innovation opportunities enabled by advanced broadband networks like Fibe and mobile LTE,” said Wade Oosterman, Bell’s Group President and Chief Brand Officer.
“Broadband communications infrastructure plays a vital role in attracting new businesses, residents and visitors by supporting enhanced connectivity, security and development opportunities for everyone in the community. This Bell MTS service expansion will help bring the world to Churchill, and Churchill to the world,” said Patricia Solman, Senior Vice President, Network and Field Services for MTS.
“Our government welcomes investments that will enhance the safety and efficiency of trade, travel and tourism opportunities for our province,” said Minister Cullen, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. “We are optimistic that today’s commitment by Bell MTS will provide new opportunities for the diversification of business opportunities throughout the region.”
“Today`s announcement is a positive step forward for rural Manitoba,” said Chuck Davidson, President, and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “Improved broadband is an issue facing too many rural communities in our province. Providing rural businesses with the tools to be competitive will help them grow their business and open up new opportunities. Bell MTS understands the importance of connecting people and is taking an important step towards addressing rural concerns.”
“This is an exciting development for Churchill,” said Colin Ferguson, President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. “Visitors from our international markets are looking for the kind of ‘bucket list’ experiences that Churchill has to offer. World-class communications go hand in hand with world-class tourism products.”
Bell MTS: Better together, better for Manitobans
On May 2, Bell announced the acquisition of MTS in a transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion as well as a 5-year, $1 billion commitment to expand broadband fibre and wireless communications services in Manitoba following the closing of the transaction, expected in late 2016 or early 2017. The Bell MTS investment plan includes the rollout of:
Gigabit Fibe Internet service, with average Internet speeds up to 20 times faster than those currently offered to MTS customers.
Fibe TV, the broadband television service renowned for its content and service innovation and ranked by consumers as the best television service in Canada.
Bell’s award-winning LTE wireless network, offering average data speeds twice as fast as those currently available to MTS customers.
In addition to the Churchill service expansion announced here today, Bell and MTS have also announced plans for continuous broadband wireless coverage along Highway 75 in southern Manitoba and the expansion of mobile and wireline broadband networks in northern Manitoba, including along Highway 6 to Thompson, in Flin Flon and in 5 small indigenous communities.
Following Bell’s acquisition of MTS, the combined company’s Manitoba operations will be known as Bell MTS. Winnipeg will become headquarters for Bell’s entire Western Canada team, which will grow to 6,900 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia with the addition of MTS’s 2,700 Manitoba employees.
At MTS, we’re proud to be Manitoba’s leading information and communications technology provider. We’re dedicated to delivering a full suite of services for Manitobans – Internet, Wireless, TV, Phone Service and Security Systems plus a full suite of Information Solutions, including Unified Cloud and Managed Services.
We live where we work and actively give back to organizations that strengthen our communities. Through MTS Future First, we provide sponsorships, grants and scholarships, value-in-kind support and volunteer commitment in Manitoba.
MTS Inc. is wholly owned by Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.For more on MTS’ products and services, visit mts.ca. For investor information, visit www.mts.ca/aboutus.
Canada’s largest communications company, Bell provides consumer, business and government customers with a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services from Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out of home and digital media. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc.
The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives.