By Kate Jackman-Atkinson, Editor, myWestman.ca
NEEPAWA, Man. — Our future is connected, but Canadians outside urban centres are already being left behind. Rural residents know a thing or two about poor cell service, but the problem is even worse when it comes to rural broadband. Despite a 2016 promise to close the digital divide that separates those with access to cheap and plentiful broadband internet from those without, the Trudeau government has done little to make this a reality.
Broadband internet is woven into our lives and those who don’t have access to it are at a measurable disadvantage. For rural and remote Canadians, broadband internet can lessen the disadvantages of living outside a major centre. A community might not have local access to a medical specialist, but broadband makes services like Telehealth possible. Broadband can allow students to learn from teachers far from their communities, whether it’s in a classroom setting or on their own. Broadband allows small businesses to punch above their weight, selling to those around the world. Broadband allows rural Canadians to make informed decisions.