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Letter: It’s 2019 – Broadband strategy needed for rural communities

Tell a small business they can’t sell their goods online. Or a doctor they can’t get digital records. Or a farmer they can’t use the technology in their brand new tractor. Who would want to? But if they have inconsistent broadband and cell coverage, that’s exactly what we’re telling them.

In fact, 2 million mostly rural Canadians lack fast and reliable broadband or cell coverage. In a country of over 36 million, this is a national concern—and it must be fixed.

The good news is that rural, remote and northern communities across the country have a voice in Ottawa. On behalf of small communities like ours, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has a plan that’s been gaining steam. It calls for a national broadband strategy backed up with a $400 million per year commitment for 10 years. And they’re looking to the upcoming March 19 Federal Budget to make it happen.

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It’s 2019 and broadband isn’t just a “nice to have”, it’s a necessity of life. Municipalities across Canada will be looking at Budget 2019 to welcome all Canadians into the digital age. I will too.

Signed,

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Wayne Bokenfohr
On behalf of Sturgeon County
Councillor, Division 3
wbokenfohr@sturgeoncounty.ca

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