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SaskTel highlights $80M investment in rural fibre optic at Day 2 of SUMA

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Day two of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) conference kicked off with a funding announcement from SaskTel.

The provincial crown will be investing an additional $80 million into its rural fibre initiative.

The move will allow 61 communities to have access to SaskTel’s fibre optic broadband network which is expected to be deployed later this month.

“it’s gonna be huge for those residents that live in typically smaller communities across the province that may not have had in the past access to Internet at these speeds that were talking about and we just know that in today’s day and age – being connected is so important,” Minister of Crown Investments Corporation Dustin Duncan told CTV News.

SUMA’s annual conference serves as a forum for municipalities to gather and share ideas and issues with one another and provincial ministers, which will include a “bear pit” session between representatives and ministers on Wednesday.

Premier Scott Moe spoke with media following his address on Monday about what he expects to see at the event.

“I’m sure you know healthcare will be part of the discussion at the bear pit session and we look forward to that,” he said. “It’s still important for us to hear from municipalities on what is working and what might not be working and [what] needs some improvement in their specific area.”

According to SUMA President Randy Goulden, this session is an opportunity for communities of all sizes to highlight issues affecting them.

“This is their time to get together and chat with SUMA, chat with our provincial government, about what we need to do to continue to grow this community to make it a safe and healthy place to live,” Goulden said.

The conference will be running until Wednesday, with various events planned over the course of the three day event.

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