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CRTC deems broadband Internet a basic telecommunications need for Canadians

OFA president says it’s good news for farmers in Ontario

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

On Thursday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared that access to broadband Internet is a “basic telecommunications service for all Canadians.”

The CRTC said Canadians should have access to an unlimited data plan option, download speeds of at least 50Mbps and upload speeds of 10Mpbs. To help that happen, the CRTC will create a new fund to invest up to $750 million over five years in addition to existing programs.

“Canadians who participated during our process told us that no matter where they live or work in our vast country — whether in a small town in northern Yukon, a rural area of eastern Quebec or in downtown Calgary — everyone needs access to high-quality fixed Internet and mobile services,” Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman and CEO, said in a release. “We are doing our part to bring broadband services to rural and remote communities.”

For farmers, access to fast and reliable Internet is vital to controlling and managing data.

“The CRTC’s ruling to deliver this vital infrastructure service will grow our farms, communities, and provincial economy while providing equal educational opportunities to our next generation,” Keith Currie, OFA president, said in a statement. “OFA looks forward to working with government in 2017 to deliver the high speed access to rural Ontarians and formalize this investment as an infrastructure essential.”

Recently, Better Farming reporter Jennifer Jackson spoke with Geoff Hogan, executive director of Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), about the importance of reliable broadband to farmers and some of the steps being taken to ensure rural communities have the same access as urban centres.


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