For public safety and economic reasons, the AMM continues to appeal to the Province of Manitoba to facilitate discussions with cell carriers and other stakeholders to explore options to expand cellular coverage and broadband Internet access within Manitoba.
Reliable cell service and Internet access directly impacts the safety of the general public and the effectiveness of emergency responders, particularly in times of crisis or disaster situations.
Moreover, sustained digital network infrastructure upgrades can improve the competitiveness of Canadian businesses and maximize job opportunities in rural and remote areas.
Currently, Manitobans experience the second-slowest internet speeds in Canada. Residents, businesses, and public institutions expect a functional level of cellular coverage and bandwidth that is reasonably comparable to the expectations of urban customers.
The AMM urges the Province to pursue partnerships with municipalities and the private sector while considering ways to provide additional financial assistance for rural telecommunications infrastructure projects.
In addition, the AMM encourages the provincial government to appeal to the federal government to ensure local communities benefit from the new $500 million broadband infrastructure investment, particularly since the digital divide between Manitoba communities remains a major challenge.
Partnerships with the private sector and increased federal investment in Canada’s digital economy that support network infrastructure will be key to any future productivity growth and economic development.