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Rural Internet Concerns Need To Be Addressed

Poor Internet and cell service is a frustrating situation for many farms and ranches.
 
That message was clearly emphasized in the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan's recent "Out of Range" report.
 
APAS President Todd Lewis says rural connectivity needs to be addressed.
 
“You can be in the middle of Mexico and have better cell service than you do in your own community in Saskatchewan. You know, it's just things like that we keep bumping up against. Cost is also an issue, our cell service costs are very high in this country and as well as the internet service.”
 
He says reliable cell service is very important not only for personal and business use but more importantly for safety as well, especially with a lot of farms and ranches located miles from urban centres.
 
“We're talking about 5G in some of the urban areas and you know we're far away from even having a hookup and a lot of rural Saskatchewan. We want to see improvements, far, far better connectivity and cell service in rural Saskatchewan before, you know, we start seeing lots of infrastructure money, put towards the 5G network.”
 
More than 500 rural people took part in the first survey for APAS focusing on rural connectivity.
 
APAS is now launching a second survey geared to not only farmers, but first nation communities, and individuals living in small towns.
 
He expects to see more of an issue and concern over internet service now since COVID-19 hit, and we saw more rural residents’ homeschooling and trying to work from home.
 
Lewis notes the bandwidth just isn’t there, people couldn’t get online.
 
APAS has been lobbying the government for improvements to cell and internet service in rural Saskatchewan.
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