Trio of giant companies to bring better Internet, power lines to NE Saskatchewan

SASKATOON – Three corporate giants have joined forces to expand telecommunications and power services to northeastern Saskatchewan.

SaskTel, SaskPower and Cameco announced a $29.6 million venture to bring high-speed bandwidth and improved power lines to all of Cameco’s sites from La Ronge to Collins Bay.

A fibre network beginning in the north at Collins Bay will trickle south to Cigar Lake and Key Lake, where the line will continue south and split at Lindsay Lake — one will head to La Ronge and the other to Sandy Bay.

The fibre expansion consists of 566 kilometres of new fibre placement by SaskTel.

Tim Gitzel, CEO of Cameco said there are about 600 employees at each one of the mining sites who will benefit from the fibre network. He added this expansion will allow for video-conferencing, minimizing trips to each site.

Tom Kindred with SaskPower said their portion of the project is to build a power line from Key Lake southeast to Sandy Bay.

Kindred added the Crown corporation estimates it will spend $10 billion over the next 10 years to maintain and repair existing infrastructure.

The project will begin in 2014 with completion by 2015.

Ron Styles, CEO of SaskTel, said by putting in fibre, the network can move a lot more data.

“By putting in fibre, we move to a reality where we can move gigabytes of data,” Styles said.

Infrastructure Minister Don McMorris said this will help the area grow.

“For our province to continue to enjoy strong economic growth, it is critical that our provincial crown utilities are proactive in finding efficiencies to keep us up to date with the increasing demand for information and infrastructure,” he said.