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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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

A first batch of 60 Starlink satellites — each about the size of a table and weighing about 500 pounds — were stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket and put in orbit in May 2019. More batches have been deployed and SpaceX plans to put thousands in place in a low orbit just a few hundred miles above the Earth’s surface.

Out-of-this-world rural internet speeds still a long way off

Famed entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to bring affordable, high-speed internet to rural Canada, but experts are wary

Reading Time: 4 minutes SpaceX is shooting for the moon with the promise of reliable high-speed internet for rural Canadians — but farmers might want to keep their expectations a little more grounded, at least for now. Last month, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk (of PayPal and Tesla fame applied for several Basic International Telecommunications Service […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 6 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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’

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

A YourLink tower outside Weyburn, Sask. (

Xplornet buying YourLink

One of Canada’s biggest providers of rural broadband is set to expand its space in the Saskatchewan market by buying rural high-speed wireless provider YourLink. New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications on Monday announced an all-cash $28.75 million deal with Victoria-based Vecima Networks for the “remaining assets” of Vecima’s YourLink business. YourLink, based in Saskatoon, is a […] Read more