Reliable broadband and high speed internet is what the Federation of Canadian Municipalities wants for Canadians in rural, remote and northern communities.
The President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities was at a meeting in Nova Scotia last week when talks on this issue happened.
Ray Orb says it remains elusive for residents who live in rural, remote and northern communities.
He says the issue is also prevalent on Saskatchewan farms.
“The operators of farm equipment really rely on good high speed internet coverage,” he said. “A lot of the information that’s used in mapping systems makes farming more efficient.”
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities believe with a national broadband strategy in place, it would ensure rural communities maintain their vital role in Canada’s economy, and in Orb’s case enable businesses, as well as farms, to unlock their full potential.
“We’ve talked to a lot of small businesses out in rural Saskatchewan, or people that are interested in bringing new businesses, and that’s one of the biggest complaints is that they don’t have any kind of good, reliable internet service, as far as high speed service goes.
“So in some ways it’s an impediment.” Orb explained.
Orb says the FCM Board wants the federal government to lead an ambitious, long-term national broadband strategy.
“We’re asking the federal government to put more funding, more money into broadband and the delivery of that service,” he said. “And to some extent they have listened, they have delivered some good programs already, ‘Connecting Canadians’ is one.”
Orb adds they need the Canadian government to lead this strategy through long-term, predictable solutions and major investments.
A link to the FCM’s report regarding broadband is available below.