The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has published recommendations based on its study of rural broadband connectivity. Read the committee report.
CFA is pleased to see parliamentarians focused on rural broadband concerns, particularly with their attention to last mile connectivity. We are especially encouraged by the committee’s call for a comprehensive rural broadband strategy, something we’ve advocated for during recent pre-budget submissions.
We strongly support the recent investment of $500 million into broadband connectivity. However, much of this investment is aimed at connectivity in population centres (urban or rural). This overlooks the fact that many farmers reside in remote areas, outside of population centres. For that reason, further action on last-mile connectivity is of the utmost importance to Canada’s agricultural sector.
“Considered an essential service, all Canadians should have access to broadband Internet, regardless of where they live,” said the committee members in a news release.
The recommendations include solutions linked to:
- Standards of parity between urban and rural centers, network performance, purchased consumer packages, latency and redundancy
- Affordability and digital literacy in rural Canada within federal programs
- Addressing the challenges of small providers
- Integration of broadband deployment within all infrastructure renewal programs
- Ensuring that small providers, non-profit providers, and non-incumbent providers have reasonable access to spectrum for broadband deployment.
- Encourage non-traditional network operators to apply for federal funding
- Ensure funding programs support both backbone and “last-mile” infrastructure, and remain technology neutral.
- Incentivizing investments for broadband deployment in rural and remote regions.
Contact Scott Ross for more information.