GFM Network News


An apt symbol of rural internet? An internet tower perched on an old wooden grain elevator in Onoway, Alta.

Pandemic pushes rural internet speeds to the breaking point

Notoriously slow already, rural internet has struggled with increased demand during the pandemic — and that isn’t likely to change any time soon

The internet on Monika Benoit’s northern Alberta farm was bad enough before the pandemic. Now it’s almost “non-existent.” “We sigh a lot,” said Benoit, who farms with husband Mike near High Prairie. “Even when there’s not a pandemic, we have internet issues. But with the isolation and social distancing protocols we’re supposed to be following, […] Read more

The COVID-19 pandemic is underscoring the importance of reliable high-speed internet, something that is lacking in many rural areas.

Rationing internet a pandemic side-effect

Streaming a dream in rural Alberta as download speeds slow to a trickle

The pandemic has created an unwelcome blast from the past for rural Albertans dealing with internet speeds not seen since the days of dial-up. “I can see downtown Calgary from my window right now, and I feel like I’m in the sticks,” said Shelagh Blatz, who lives near Priddis. “I’m so close to Calgary, but […] Read more


You don’t see a lot of internet towers in rural Canada — which is why high-speed broadband is rare, too. The CRTC had promised to change that, but recently it quietly halved the speeds required to tap into a $750-million fund aimed at bringing fast internet to underserved parts of the country.

Fast internet? An urban reality but a rural myth

The CRTC has cut its rural internet speed targets in half — calling it ‘a significant first step’

It’s an issue that big-city bureaucrats can’t seem to wrap their heads around — an internet connection spread so thin that it’s nearly unusable during peak hours. But in rural Alberta, it’s an all-too-common problem. “The connection gets weaker and weaker the further you get away from the main corridor,” said Al Kemmere, president of […] Read more



Xplornet’s Chris Johnston says high-speed broadband will be available to all of rural Canada by July 2017 following tower upgrades and the launch of next-generation satellites like the ViaSat-2.

Digital divide set to fall?

Company says all of rural Canada will have access to high speed by July 2017

There finally appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for rural Canadians fed up with slow, inconsistent, or unavailable Internet service. New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications recently announced it will offer high-speed, 25-megabytes-per-second (mbps) Internet service to all Canadians by July 2017, a move that may finally destroy the urban-rural digital divide. “To […] Read more