If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us anything (other than the importance of handwashing), it is that internet is not a luxury anymore. It is a necessity for modern life. While larger cities have long enjoyed high speed internet without a second thought, smaller communities have struggled with slower, less reliable internet connections. When large swathes of Saskatchewan moved to working and learning from home, reliable high speed connectivity became a necessity.
A Change is Coming
However, hope is on the horizon. Access Communications is expanding its advanced broadband network across the province. “This has been a long time coming,” says Fran Moran, Communications Manager at Access. “We’ve heard our communities loud and clear, and they need better broadband internet.” Access has been working towards initiative even before the COVID-19 outbreak was on the radar. Access has secured back haul circuits that will provide nearly 70 communities with speeds up to 300 Mbps, a huge jump from their current maximum speeds of 10, 15 or 25 Mbps.
The first communities to benefit are La Ronge and Air Ronge, who will enjoy speeds of 300 Mbps before the end of summer. The first phase of the expansion is scheduled for August through October and will provide high speed internet to communities including Canora, Dalmeny, Delisle, Esterhazy, Foam Lake, Fort Qu’Appelle, Indian Head, Humboldt, Kamsack, Kindersley, Kipling, Lumsden, Melfort, Moosomin, Nipawin, Regina Beach, Rosetown, Tisdale, Unity, Wynyard and many more. “Internet is essential in today’s world,” says Moran. “Improving internet service in Saskatchewan will mean more students can learn remotely, more workers can connect from home, and more businesses can engage in things like e-commerce.”
More than Just Internet
As a not-for-profit co-operative, Access’s earnings are reinvested into the communities they serve. Not only do funds go to improving services and informing and entertaining the public, they are also spent bettering lives. For example, the annual Access Communications Labour Day Show N Shine event raised more than $20,000 for the Regina Food Bank last year. The co-operative also supports the Regina Pats and Regina Red Sox, and offers scholarships to high school, college, and university students. Their registered charity, the Access Communications Children’s Fund, was founded in 1992 and has donated over $2 million for non-profits and charities committed to helping children at risk or in need. “Every year, we work with about 1,500 non-profit community groups,” says Moran. “Access Communications is truly committed to making Saskatchewan a better place.”
To learn more about Access Communications internet services, myaccess.ca/internet.
Access Communications Co-operative