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Nov 08, 2022
Many Manitobans continue to remain isolated from other communities and the modern economy simply because reliable, affordable Internet and wireless services are too expensive, too slow, or aren’t available at all where they live.
“The pandemic really showed us why we need faster, more reliable connections across Manitoba, particularly in our rural and remote areas. It’s more than just an inconvenience – it’s also a health and safety issue if people can’t reach out for help when they need it,” said MGEU President Kyle Ross. “Far too many Manitobans still cannot access reliable wireless or high-speed Internet in their community and that’s why our members raised this as a significant issue at our last Convention.”
Many Canadians still do not have home Internet that meets the CRTC's national minimum speed standards of 50/10 Mbps. The CRTC says 87.4 per cent of households in Canada are able to access speeds of at least 50/10 mbps, but this drops to 45.6 per cent in rural areas. That’s generally for one of two reasons: it’s not available in these communities, or it’s too expensive.
In 2016, Bell Canada promised to invest $1 billion on infrastructure in Manitoba over the following five years to improve mobile coverage and Internet services if its purchase of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) was approved by regulators.
The sale was approved, but not much has changed. In fact, in 2019, Bell announced it would be scaling back its rural internet expansion program.
Meanwhile, a 2020 analysis completed in 53 communities across Canada found that 51 of those communities had speed test results that still did not meet the CRTC’s minimums for both uploads and downloads. Of the tests conducted in the study in Winnipeg (which has the most high-speed Internet options available in Manitoba), only 38 per cent met the CRTC’s minimums.
“We need our governments to stop dragging their feet and find ways to provide more affordable, high quality wireless and Internet solutions across our province because simply relying on big corporations to tackle this hasn’t worked. Canada’s Internet continues to be amongst the most expensive in the world, while not delivering the speeds people need, and that has to change.”
Join the call to bring affordable, high-quality Internet to every Canadian — regardless of where they live or how much money they have. Sign the petition to get Canada connected NOW!