The Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan Rural Connectivity Task Force spent six months researching the issues around poor rural internet and cell service.
The report lists a total of 43 recommendations that fit into seven main categories.
Working Together - Supporting shared access to infrastructure and fair partnerships between service providers.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen - Simplifying Canada’s regulatory structure for greater accountability, transparency, and efficiency.
The Importance of Smaller Internet Service Providers - Supporting competition within the industry to ensure smaller players can survive, thrive, and support universal internet access.
Optimizing Public Resources - Optimizing government funding and managing spectrum effectively.
Regaining and Retaining Canadian Excellence - Ensuring that Canada takes a leadership role to build long-term sustainability within our telecommunications industry and infrastructure.
Taking Control of the Saskatchewan Advantage - Leveraging our Crown Corporations to ensure that Saskatchewan plays a leadership role in achieving universal connectivity and realizing the social and economic benefits that come along with it.
Consumer Protection - Ensuring consumers are guaranteed high-quality, affordable internet service
Task Force Chair Jeremy Welter says seeing companies work together to support and share access to infrastructure, and simplifying Canada’s regulatory structure for greater accountability, transparency, and efficiency
"SaskTel doesn't have to be the ultimate answer for every problem. You know SaskTel can very, very easily choose to work with smaller providers."
He notes they'd like to see shared access to infrastructure and fair partnerships between service providers including working with those smaller internet service providers.
"In a case like that, it's a case where everyone wins, the rural people living in the area win by getting good reliable accessible internet service. You know SaskTel wins because they are providing industry solutions to these companies, and these companies win. It's a made in Saskatchewan solution."
The RCTF recommendations were ratified by the APAS membership at their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday.
The Rural Connectivity Task Force has outlined key actions over the next 12 months to advocate for policy changes based on their recommendations.
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