Rogers Communications has signed a deal to buy Shaw Communications in a transaction valued at $26 billion.
On Monday, Rogers said the transaction would create Canada’s “most robust wholly-owned national network” and, as a result of the combined team, “will generate more choice and competition for businesses.”
Once the transaction is complete, the companies plan to invest $2.5 billion in 5G networks across Western Canada, which is expected to create up to 3,000 net new jobs.
Rogers also says they’re committing to establish a new $1 billion Rogers Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund to connect rural, remote, and Indigenous communities across Western Canada to high-speed Internet and closing “critical connectivity gaps faster for underserved areas.”
According to the communications conglomerate, consultations will be done with Indigenous communities to create Indigenous-owned and -operated Internet Service Providers, which would leverage Rogers’ expanded networks.
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“We are proud to join forces with the Shaw family and team as we combine our companies and our 10,000 team members across Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, supported by a head office in Calgary. Western Canada is a major driver of our national economy, and together we will have the scale, expertise, and commitment to deliver the technology infrastructure needed to keep local communities connected, businesses competitive and attract new investment,” Joe Natale, president and CEO of Rogers Communications, said in a statement.
Rogers will also expand its Connected for Success program nationally to reach communities where the combined companies offer Internet services.
“While unlocking tremendous shareholder value, combining these two great companies also creates a truly national provider with the capacity to invest greater resources expeditiously to build the wireline and wireless networks that all Canadians need for the long term. This transaction will create benefits for generations to come,” Brad Shaw, executive chair & CEO of Shaw, said in a statement.
The investments in Western Canada are seen as an opportunity to connect communities from coast to coast.