CBC News Consults U of G Rural Internet Access Expert

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Prof. Helen Hambly Odame

CBC News reported on the call in rural Ontario to make broadband internet an essential service.

Thousands in rural Waterloo region and Wellington County struggle with high cost, unreliable service, a reality amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the article.

CBC News turned to U of G Prof. Helen Hambly for insights on the issue. Hambly, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development,  also leads the rural broadband project at the University.

She told CBC that the current state of the broadband industry is a case of market failure. She agrees that making internet an essential service is part of the solution.

“Telecommunications will serve an area where there’s a certain level of population density and demand at a certain price point,” Hambly said. “We are paying the price for how the telecommunications industry and technology has evolved.”