Rural internet and cell access debate begins

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PONTIAC – Pontiac MP William Amos opened the debate on his private members’ motion, M-208, which addresses digital infrastructure in Canada’s rural communities, February 20 in the House of Commons.

PONTIAC – Pontiac MP William Amos opened the debate on his private members’ motion, M-208, which addresses digital infrastructure in Canada’s rural communities, February 20 in the House of Commons.
According to Amos, he opened the debate expressing the frustrations of residents in his riding, many of whom do not have access to high-speed or cellular networks. “What I hear in my riding is consistent with the voices of rural Canadians across the country. I’m pleased to have received the formal support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the rural caucus of the Union of Québec Municipalities,” said Amos.
M-208 recognizes the importance of reliable digital infrastructure to enable rural
economic development and contribute to the health and safety of Canadians. M-208 asks the government to continue its efforts to improve rural
connectivity and to examine the possibility of making further rural digital infrastructure investments. Furthermore, it requests that the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology undertake a comprehensive study on rural wireless infrastructure, and that the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security study the public safety dimensions of rural wireless infrastructure.
A second debate will take place at the end of April before the motion is voted on about a week later. Amos said he is “cautiously optimistic” that he will obtain unanimous support and that the timing of the debate is optimal with the upcoming release of the 2019 federal budget. “This is my number one infrastructure priority and it’s linked to other priorities like economic development, investor and resident attraction, etc,” said Amos.
In the last year, more than $20 million in investments were announced for the Pontiac riding alone to connect 4,300 households and small businesses to high speed Internet service, of which about $6.7 million was designated for the MRC Pontiac.
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