Minister responsible for SaskTel Don Morgan says the construction of additional cell phone towers in the province is exciting news.
He says it’s an extremely important step in ensuring rural residents are connected.
“Covid has increased the need for students and families that are spending more time at home, we also have lots of businesses that are on-farm businesses, or are in small centers, and they need a greater amount of connectivity,” said Morgan. “We also know it’s a matter of safety.”
When asked if Saskatchewan is lagging in terms of having rural connectivity, Morgan said that the province has its challenges.
“We are one of the most challenged jurisdictions to have connectivity because we have the least dense population of anywhere in Canada,” said Morgan. “So, we think we are as good, or better, than any of the other western provinces, and certainly want to continue to expand.”
He adds that it’s tough to keep up with ever increasing demand, and technology that is constantly improving.
The new macro cell towers will bring the total number of towers province-wide to over 1,000. Morgan says once these towers are built, there will be solid coverage for most of the province.
“We’ve got good coverage all along the major roadways across the province, and most of the urban-type settings, even smaller communities with two or three hundred people now have got a tower,” said Morgan. “We know there’s probably more work we want to do in some areas in the province.”
After the federal government identified rural broadband as one of their priorities in the Throne Speech, Morgan is hoping to see them help the province with the new builds.