Alberta government awards SuperNet contract to Bell

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Minister of Service Alberta Brian Malkinson formally announced on Friday, July 6 that Bell (BCE Inc.) had been chosen to operate both the urban and rural portions of the SuperNet broadband service. The province had previously identified Bell – the country's oldest and largest telecommunications provider –  as its preferred supplier.


The Minister confirmed the government has signed a multi-year contract with Bell.


“We know that the internet is not a luxury — it’s an essential service for families and key to building a modern, diverse economy. This new SuperNet contract ensures that Albertans will continue to have access to internet services in their schools, hospitals, libraries and public services,” Malkinson.


According to Service Alberta, rural communities in Alberta will continue to receive SuperNet services that began in 2016. 


With the Bell announcement, it means that it will be adding 402 rural communities due to the new contract, in addition to the 27 urban SuperNet network assets that the company already owns and operates. The increased access will provide over 90 per cent broadband penetration throughout the province.


"We thank the government for their continued confidence in Bell, and look forward to delivering the next generation of SuperNet connectivity to support Alberta's continued economic growth and prosperity,” stated Tom Little, President of Bell Business Markets. 

 

In a corporate announcement, Bell confirmed that, in addition to signing a contract with the provincial government, they will also buy the Alberta rural operations of Axia, originally a publically-traded company until it was privately acquired by Partners Group in 2016.


Dan McKeen, Bell’s vice chair for Western Canada, said in a statement that services will be continued without interruption. 


“We look forward to welcoming the Axia team to Bell as we integrate our operations to deliver the highest levels of service to Alberta’s SuperNet users.


"Combining the scale and resources of Bell with the proven operational strengths of both companies will support the delivery of seamless broadband service for all SuperNet users today and into the future,” he continued.


In operation since 2005, SuperNet is made up of more than 13,000 kilometres of fibre and 2,000 kilometres of high-speed wireless links. The government-led initiative was created to provide broadband network connectivity to schools, hospitals, libraries, municipal and indigenous offices, government facilities, enterprise business customers and Internet service providers throughout the province.

– with files

Posted on:
Monday, July 09, 2018