The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is pleased with today’s announcement by SaskTel and the provincial government to help further improve rural connectivity across the province. This new investment of $50 million will bring critical infrastructure to 24 additional communities, plus create an opportunity for smaller providers to accelerate service delivery in even more locations.
Bringing fibre to more of Saskatchewan’s communities will be an important step in bridging the digital divide. It was recently estimated that Saskatchewan could see an annual $1.2 billion boost to provincial GDP if every household could reach the CRTC’s service objective of 50/10 Mbps internet speeds.
“Today’s announcements align with the recent recommendations of our Task Force,” said Jeremy Welter, Chair of APAS’s Rural Connectivity Task Force. “This is good news for Saskatchewan’s rural communities and these improvements will help increase their prosperity and resilience in the future.”
In September 2020, APAS launched the Rural Connectivity Task Force to understand the challenges in addressing Saskatchewan’s inadequate rural internet and cellphone coverage. The Task Force spent months meeting with industry experts and service providers, and its findings resulted in 43 recommendations to improve connectivity in rural Saskatchewan.
APAS congratulates SaskTel and the Government of Saskatchewan on today’s announcement and looks forward to receiving further details.