In a release sent out today, SaskTel says that more communities in the southern part of Saskatchewan will be receiving access to fibre internet.

Bengough, Coronach, Rockglen, and Willow Bunch are all receiving those upgrades.

The service, offered under SaskTel's InfiniNet program, is available in Saskatchewan's larger centres and has been expanding over the years.

Nearby rural communities had been getting the upgrade through SaskTel's Rural Fibre Initiative program, with these four communities instead going a different route.

“Today’s announcement further demonstrates SaskTel’s commitment to bring more advanced and reliable communications services to all corners of our province,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel. “I applaud those involved with South Saskatchewan Ready for the work they’re doing to ensure these communities have the tools necessary to succeed in the modern economy.”

The Community Participation Program allows communities the ability to provide a portion of the funds required to cover the capital costs to bring SaskTel services to their residents. This program allows SaskTel to expand services quickly and sustainably to areas of the province where it may not otherwise be economically feasible to do so.

“We’re pleased to partner with South Saskatchewan Ready to bring our infiNET network to these communities,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel President and CEO. “This expansion is being facilitated through our Community Participation Program which will allow us to connect these communities to fibre in a shorter timeframe than would otherwise be possible.”

Since 2013, more than 30 communities have utilized SaskTel’s Community Participation Program to improve the communications services available to their residents.

South Saskatchewan Ready believes that it's especially important to bring these new systems to communities that have to go through the tough challenge of transitioning from coal.

“Coal Transition has many economic challenges, especially in rural regions where economies are largely undiversified. SaskTel’s fibre optic broadband network will provide our regional population centres with opportunities to compete with larger centres for economic opportunities,” said Sharon Adam, Chair, South Saskatchewan Ready.

SaskTel plans to begin the construction process in these communities in 2023/24 and anticipates the majority of households will be fibre ready by the end of 2024.