"One of the key focuses for improving connectivity isn't just having access to internet, it's having access to affordable internet."
- Jeremy Welter, Chair, Rural Connectivity Task Force
"Producers spend long hours working alone, and we work in areas where there is limited or no cell phone service, and we ask our employees and ourselves to work in those conditions. Yet, God forbid if anything ever happened, and you couldn't make that phone call when you need the help. It's a huge concern."
- Ian Boxall, Rural Connectivity Task Force Member

In November 2021, APAS and AccessNow TV collaborated to release Connecting Saskatchewan, a broadcast that highlights the need for improving cellular service and high-speed internet in rural Saskatchewan.

The show aired on November 29, 2021 and has since been viewed by hundreds of people throughout the province.

Connecting Saskatchewan focused on APAS’s Rural Connectivity Task Force (RCTF) which was established to explore the reasons why many areas of rural Saskatchewan have poor cellular service and no high-speed internet. The broadcast also outlined various solutions to improve rural connectivity.

The Task Force was established in September 2020 and spent months researching this issue and meeting with industry experts and service providers to gather more information. The Task Force was led by Chair Jeremy Welter, alongside Task Force members Ian Boxall, Bev Pirio, Bill Prybylski, and Paige Stewart.

APAS released a final report in March 2021 with 43 recommendations to improve connectivity in rural Saskatchewan. This report has been widely shared with service providers and government officials.

Connecting Saskatchewan was hosted by Curtis Hemming, APAS Assistant General Manager, and Cally Nicholl, APAS Communications Manager. APAS Policy Researcher Brent Kobes, who worked extensively with the Task Force, provided an overview of the 43 recommendations. Curtis and Cally interviewed Task Force members Jeremy Welter and Ian Boxall about the importance of connectivity on their farms and what they learned from being part of the Task Force. Jeremy and Ian also shared personal stories about the lack of connectivity in their parts of the province and expressed their frustrations about service providers and governments not doing more to connect all of rural Saskatchewan.

Bill Prybylski and Paige Stewart were also interviewed about the specific connectivity challenges they face on their farms daily and how it impacts their productivity and personal lives.

The goal of Connecting Saskatchewan was to provide Saskatchewan residents and government officials with more information about the barriers preventing people in rural Saskatchewan from using their cell phones and going online, plus present solutions to these problems that service providers and governments can implement.

- Bill Prybylski

"People need to remember that rural Saskatchewan is a huge economic driver in this province, and it's time that all levels of government made the required changes to policies so that rural Saskatchewan and Canada have the internet we need and deserve."
- Ian Boxall, Rural Connectivity Task Force Member

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Where to watch Connecting Saskatchewan:

AccessNow TV App

AccessNow TV Video and On Demand

APAS YouTube Page

Learn more about APAS