SaskTel announces plan to bring fibre Internet to rural communities

Approximately 20 rural Saskatchewan communities will be getting access to SaskTel’s fibre Internet service, infiNET, over the next four years as part of a new $50-million project by the Crown corporation.



a close up of a brick building: The SaskTel building on Saskatchewan Drive.


© Provided by Leader Post
The SaskTel building on Saskatchewan Drive.

On Thursday, SaskTel announced its Rural Fibre Initiative, which is intended to bring the Crown’s fibre-optics network to approximately 30,000 households and businesses in smaller communities. The first phase of the project will introduce fibre Internet to the majority of residents in Balgonie, Biggar, Langham and Pilot Butte by March 2022. Phase two of the initiative will be announced later in 2021.

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“Through our Rural Fibre Initiative, residents and business owners in many of our smaller communities can continue to confidently build their future knowing they’ll soon have access to the best communications infrastructure available,” said Doug Burnett, SaskTel president and CEO, in a news release.

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Nearly 40% of rural homes globally do not have access to internet: ITU

Urban households around the world have almost twice as much access to the internet than those living in rural areas, according to the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

According to the ITU, about 72% of households in urban areas globally had access to home internet in 2019, while only 38% of homes in rural areas had the same access. 

Published as part of the ITU’s annual Measuring Digital Development: Facts and figures report, the United Nations agency also said that urban access to the internet was 2.3 times higher than rural access in developing countries.

Urban and rural areas were classified in accordance with each UN member country’s own definition for what they consider to be urban and rural.

By comparison, the urban-rural gap in developed countries was much smaller, with 87% and 81% of urban and rural homes having access to home internet in 2019, respectively.

Meanwhile, connectivity

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In Wi-Fi ‘Dead Zones,’ Rural Students Can’t Log On to Virtual School

Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it could not be fixed.

Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.

All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.

The response is the same across broad stretches of Robeson County, N.C., a swath of small towns and rural places like Orrum dotted among soybean fields and hog farms on the South Carolina border. About 20,000 of the county’s homes, or 43 percent of all households, have no internet connection.

The technology gap has prompted teachers to

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No signal: Internet ‘dead zones’ cut rural students off from virtual classes.

Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it couldn’t be fixed.

Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.

All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.

“It’s not fair,” said Shekinah, 17. “I don’t think just the people who live in the city should have internet. We need it in the country, too.”

Millions of American students are grappling with the same challenges, learning remotely without adequate home internet service. About 15 million K-12 students lived in households without adequate online connectivity or remote

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Mississippi Main Street receives USDA Rural Development Grant for five communities | News

JACKSON – The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) has been selected as the recipient of a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training (CFTAT) grant to provide planning activities in five Main Street communities in Mississippi.

The five designated Main Street communities that were selected had to meet specific criteria, including being located within a declared disaster county with a population of less than 10,000 and a median household income of less than $34,092.

The communities that met this criteria were invited to apply and were selected based on demonstrating project need for the community, ability to provide a local match in funding, and the capacity to implement the project in the community. The five Main Street communities selected include Aberdeen, Baldwyn, Columbia, New Albany and Water Valley.

MMSA will use the USDA CFTAT grant to contract with Orion Planning + Design, a national community planning and design

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From Painfully Slow to Lightning Fast: SpaceX’s Starlink Makes Rural Internet Usable

(Credit: Nickolas Friedrich)

Nickolas Friedrich lives in central Montana, where his local broadband connectivity hasn’t been good.

Every month, he pays about $120 for a measly 0.8Mbps download speed from the only DSL provider in town. And his connection can freeze up when too many neighbors are on the service at once. 

As a result, streaming videos isn’t really possible. Instead, it can take an hour to download a low-quality 240p video from YouTube. The situation is so bad that Friedrich used to go to the local library to download internet videos to his laptop so he could watch them later. 

But recently, he’s been able to enjoy Netflix and YouTube at home, where the internet speeds can now shoot up as high as 170Mbps. The reason? Starlink, the next-generation satellite internet service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which Friedrich has been helping test out.  

“It has been a lot faster

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SpaceX’s Starlink Makes Rural Internet Usable


10 min read


This story originally appeared on PC Mag

Nickolas Friedrich lives in central Montana, where his local broadband connectivity hasn’t been good.

Every month, he pays about $120 for a measly 0.8Mbps download speed from the only DSL provider in town. And his connection can freeze up when too many neighbors are on the service at once. 

As a result, streaming videos isn’t really possible. Instead, it can take an hour to download a low-quality 240p video from YouTube. The situation is so bad Friedrich used to go to the local library to download internet videos to his laptop so he could watch them later. 

But recently, he’s been able to enjoy Netflix and YouTube at home, where the internet speeds can now shoot up as high as 170Mbps. The reason? Starlink, the next-generation satellite internet service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, that Friedrich has been

Read More