EDMONTON -- Shaw announced Friday it was the first internet provider in Alberta to provide all of its residential customers with one gigabyte download speeds. 

According to executive vice president Peter Johnson, the company has invested $11 billion in the province over seven years to achieve the milestone. 

He said founder JR Shaw, who passed earlier in the year at the age of 85, would have been "thrilled" to see the marker reached. 

Speaking alongside Johnson in Lacombe, Alta., Friday afternoon, Premier Jason Kenney called high-speed internet more important than ever before given how many Albertans are working from home in the pandemic. 

"And if we want people to not only stay in smaller communities, but move to them so they grow in the future, they must have at least adequate internet service," the premier commented. 

He said his United Conservative government considers the innovation and technology sectors as "absolutely key" to the province's economic prosperity. 

Friday's announcement, he added, is also a sign that Alberta's plan to restore investor confidence is working. 

According to Kenney, Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish would be bringing forward policy in future months that would increase network access more.