The COVID 19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented necessity for internet access. With the transition to remote work, schooling, and telemedicine, it has become crucial to have an accessible and reliable internet connection. Disproportionate affordability to the internet is most present among rural communities that pay approximately 46% higher installation fees and 14% higher monthly fees according to an article on the rural and urban divide in Canada (Worden & Hambly, 2021). With many dwellers in rural Québec communities paying unaffordable rates for less reliable and slower internet access (Government of Canada, 2019).
Prime minister Trudeau has stated that "High-speed internet is becoming a basic utility, like water, or electricity. People need to have access to data" (CBC, 2021). He has promised to provide all Canadians with high speed internet by 2030. The Québec government has a budget of $826 million to expand high speed internet access. But what are those that are left with unaffordable internet rates to do in the meantime?
Y4Y Québec is calling on the government of Canada and the provincial government to provide publicly subsidized internet rates, with the highest internet speeds available, to rural parts of the province, in order to match the rates offered in urban regions.