GFM Network News


A goal for rural internet speeds set several years ago is 10 times faster than previously set goals, but the goalposts that define high speed are always moving.

Better rural broadband internet is coming — eventually

Ottawa is pledging $2 billion for fast rural internet, but how that money gets spent is the key question

Ottawa’s pledge to spend $2 billion to bring decent broadband service to rural and remote areas is welcome news, but the devil will be in the details, say officials in Alberta. “I’m encouraged to see the funding, but the full delivery of it is the next question — how will we be able to make […] Read more

Federal irrigation pledge seen flowing mainly to Prairies

Infrastructure plan also includes promised broadband support

Prairie provinces will receive the bulk of Ottawa’s $1.5 billion commitment to support irrigation projects, according to federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday launched a three-year, $10 billion infrastructure plan aimed at five different sectors, including agriculture. The $1.5 billion is expected to result in 700,000 acres of irrigated land. […] Read more


Throne speech commits to rural broadband improvement

Rural health care, water management also on deck

The federal minority Liberal government is promising job creation, better rural internet access and a commitment to combating climate change in its newly revealed legislative plans. In an ambitious throne speech delivered Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party committed itself to implementing universal child care and extending or enhancing many of the economic measures put […] Read more

Attendees at Olds College’s AgSmart 2019 event got to see new technology, including the autonomous DOT Power Platform, in action. Experts say the pandemic will speed up adoption of self-driving equipment as well as behind-the-scenes tech, such as distributed ledger technology.

Pandemic speeding up adoption of technology

Online ordering and virtual contracts commonplace, traceability and autonomous machines getting new push

Like it or not, the farm of the future will run on technology — and that future has become ever closer because of COVID-19. “It’s been a pretty big disruption for a lot of businesses,” said Wes Anderson, senior fertility specialist at CropPro Consulting. “It has forced a lot of our clients to use technology […] Read more


Pandemic may strain rural community resources, panel warns

Enthusiasm for telecommuting could later benefit rural areas, if 'digital divide' can be bridged

The COVID-19 pandemic, and Canada’s response to it, have highlighted how rural communities need different strategies than their urban counterparts to provide social services on which the public relies. The Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph hosted a virtual panel in May to discuss COVID-19’s social impacts, in which researchers from a variety […] Read more

NYC equity firm to buy Xplornet

New investment expected to speed up rural broadband rollouts

A Manhattan private equity firm deep in “middle-market infrastructure” has committed to buy, and help improve service from, Canada’s single biggest rural broadband provider. New Brunswick-based, privately held Xplornet Communications announced Thursday it has signed a deal to sell majority control itself to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. The two companies’ announcement didn’t put a dollar figure […] Read more


Xplornet buys Ontario’s Silo Wireless

Deal includes rural wireless, fibre services

Canada’s biggest rural broadband company has expanded its space in the southwestern Ontario market by buying internet and fibre-to-home provider Silo Wireless. New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications, whose client list already includes over a million rural customers in all provinces, announced it has closed its deal to buy Silo for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives […] Read more

Federal minister for rural affairs among Tory pledges

The federal Conservatives’ pre-election pledges for Canada’s rural communities include a plan to appoint a federal minister for rural affairs. Tory leader Andrew Scheer included that promise Sept. 7 in announcing a list of “specific measures he will take as prime minister to help rural communities across the country,” in the lead-up to a federal […] Read more


Rural development strategy sought in federal shuffle

Rural economic development has been given a promotion at the federal level in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest cabinet shuffle. In the shuffle, following the departure of Treasury Board president Scott Brison from cabinet, Trudeau on Monday called up Bernadette Jordan, MP for the southern Nova Scotia riding of South Shore-St.Margaret’s, to head a newly […] Read more