Reliable high-speed internet service is vital for Ontario farms and our rural communities. We depend on the internet to make business decisions, market farm products and operate on-farm technology. Our communities depend on reliable internet to drive economic development and support our schools and local businesses.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) welcomed the news when the CRTC classified high-speed internet access as a basic service and has committed to providing $750 million over five years to support projects to build or upgrade infrastructure for underserved areas. According to CRTC, this basic service would provide internet speeds of 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads (50/10).
But, the process for evaluating eligible service providers and the communities they serve completely excludes areas that are “partially served” from any of this new funding. That means that in any given 25 square km area, if even one household has 50/10 speeds then service providers are not eligible for funding to upgrade internet service for anyone in that area. This process effectively eliminates 100,000 southwestern Ontario rural families alone from improved broadband access. For a “basic service”, this is unacceptable.
Use the form below to send a letter to federal politicians to let them know the importance of reliable high-speed internet for every rural community in Ontario.
Fill in the information below to send a letter to the federal Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism (responsible for the CRTC); Infrastructure and Communities; and Rural Economic Development with copies to Hon. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Hon. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure. You will be able to preview the letter before it is sent electronically.
Thank you for your support of Ontario’s rural communities and agri-food sector.
If you would like to take part in an online submission directly to the CRTC, click here.
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