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Monday, February 26, 2007 

Saskatchewan To Provide Free Wireless Internet Access

The following story comes from a Government of Saskatchewan news release dated this day:

"Residents and visitors to the downtown business districts and post-secondary institutions of Saskatchewan’s four largest centres will soon be able to access the country’s largest wireless Internet network, free-of-charge. Premier Lorne Calvert and Minister responsible for Information Technology Andrew Thomson made the announcement today in Saskatoon.

The Saskatchewan! Connected initiative will offer users basic Internet service in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Regina, and Moose Jaw via a wireless Wi-Fi network to be operated by the government Information Technology Office, SaskTel and other partners. The service will also be available in select business districts in close proximity to downtown Saskatoon and Regina."

Government of Saskatchewan

I hope it's better than the same thing we have here in Portland, OR. I live right in the middle of downtown, and neighbors bring their laptops to my place frequently, because my DSL router has wireless capability, and the signal strength from the free government service is usually too week for them to connect.

I swear, I heard this idea during Regina's civic election,somewhere ?

Chad, I think you should be commended for recommending this during your campaign, and the New Democrats I have spoken to all recognize that this was something that you stood for in the Regina civic campaign.

I sure hope that you are planning on seeking public office again!!!

Good on ya!

It would be nice if the NDP wouldn't leave the dozens of communities without any highspeed solution, stuck on dialup while they upgrade the cities that could plausibly have private providers offering the WiFi service.

It's bad enough they had Sasktel spend $118M for HDTV in only the cities, but now this. It's just another middle finger to TROS (The Rest of Saskatchewan).

It is unfortunate that it does have to come to a realistic 'cost per user' equation, but it does. The 'cost per user' of installing in a city of 210,000 compared to what the 'cost per user' is in remote rural areas ... ie) for a town of 1200.

In the same way, those folks who live in a town of 600 and who demand that they have a full hospital (even though everyone wants their surgery at a city hospital) ... and they want a school with K to 12 - IT IS UNREALISTIC! A town of 600 simply cannot have the full amenities and centralized services that a city of 210,000 can accomodate.

That is what drives me crazy about a lot of my disgruntled rural fellow citizens. There seems to be a completely unrealistic and extremey whiny mindset, that the government is being so hard on those who CHOOSE to live in remote, sparsely poplated locations.

I'm sorry. That is what bankrupt this province in the 1980's when the Conservative government borrowed billions of dollars and infused them into a FALSE ECONOMY in rural Saskatchewan.

While the rest of the GReat Plains jusdisdictions (Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana) made necessary adjustments in their rural / urban mix, Saskatchewan artificially delayed the adjustments.

I love my fellow rural neighbours, but you are not hard done by for any other reason then that you choose to remain in remote places and you blame the government and city people for your imagined grievences.

Frick, blogger ate two of my comments, piece of junk.

Speaking of being driven crazy [by blogger] the NDP anti-rural attitude drives me crazy too, so maybe we should both get by that feeling and look at the facts that give us that feeling. Maybe come extra info shared will dispel our concerns.

600 people is plenty to have a K-12 school, and a doctor at least some days of the week. Those two services are essential, like fire protection, post office, communication link, etc. Everything the NDP does is based upon health and education, when they talk. Yet they don't support those two most essential services in rural SK.

It's beyond galling to see highspeed Internet offered wirelessly in a place it already is abundant, when people barely a jaunt away [in the eyes of people who think bussing a kid 30 minutes means nothing] dialup is the only option.

"I love my fellow rural neighbours, but you are not hard done by for any other reason then that you choose to remain in remote places and you blame the government and city people for your imagined grievences."

How would you feel if the government told you that the place you live is just too small, so they aren't going to bother giving you the services you're helping to pay for in the cities where you don't live? Oh wait, that does happen to you, and it makes you furious, when it's called Equalization. Never mind that the extra money SK should have, is due to rural economic activity!

And how do they do it for small communities in Alberta, BC, Manitoba, North Dakota, South Dakota.

This is NOT a reasonable position you take on this. You choose (I choose) to live in a remote, sparsley populated area. You can't have a hospital and K - 12 school in every dinky little hamlet and village in the province. Totally unreasonable. Totally!

Myu old town used to hawe a CO-OP store, Red & White Store and an IGA - but everyone wanted to drive the 45 K into Regina for Superstore. Now we have NO store and all of my neighbours sit around blaming the NDP for this.


I didn't say hospital, you did. And K-12 for town as small as 50 people can be reasonable, depending on the surrounding population - I've seen it done quite well.

You're bringing up grocery stores? While essential, they are not an everyday necessity, and are not an emergency service either. If a town can't support a store, it can't.

On the grocery stores I agree ... you missed my point, however, completely!! In my home town, the NDP is blamed for there being NO store. You avoided that completely. My point is, that the NDP is NOT responsbile for the death of rural areas. The massive change to AGRICULTRE from farms of 3/4 section 18 years ago to 20 sections today. That is what killed rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba and North Dakota and Nebraska.

Enough with the NDP being to blame. That is NOT realistic!!!!

By investing in the cities, the government is helping rural Sask. Without strong competitive modern cities,rural Sask is in further trouble. By committing to a project that is years behind other cities, the provincial government is boosting rural economies. Read Jane Jacobs, it is accepted that cities drive ag not the other way.

Also, rural residents complaining about a lack of modern amenities compared to urban centres is equivalent to urbanites demanding equivalent crime and traffic as a small town. Grass is always greener somewhere.

The bottom line is boosting urban economic output will boost rural economies more then pumping one time dollars for hi-tech infrastructure.

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