The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has been addressing the need for reliable, high speed broadband with government for a number of years. OFA has been advocating for this basic necessity for rural Ontarians and welcomes the recent ruling by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that broadband access internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians.

The funding announcement of up to $750 million over five years in addition to existing government programs to extend services to rural and remote areas will go a long way to bring rural residents, farms and businesses the basic telecommunications services necessary to participate in today’s digital economy. The CRTC also ruled that broadband internet with download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps will now be considered a “basic telecom service.”

The provincial and federal governments have already committed $180 million to fund the SouthWestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) program, expanding high speed internet across rural Ontario. The SWIFT program was a start, and the CRTC’s new funding program will secure the extension of broadband across the province.

Access to this essential business service will enable economic development in rural Ontario. A stronger rural economy will also serve to alleviate housing and infrastructure challenges facing urban Ontario centres by attracting young families to communities outside of major urban Ontario cities.

Submissions & Correspondence

OFA submission to OMAFRA's Farms Forever Consultation
(June 29, 2017)

OFA Pre-budget Submission 2017
(January 20, 2017)

Canadian Radio - Television and Telecommunications Commission
(January 1, 2001)

Additional Information

Priorities for Growing Agriculture in Ontario
(May 10, 2016)


OFA members weigh in on rural internet issues
(July 3, 2015 - Telecommunications)

OFA: Talking about agriculture with federal candidates
(August 7, 2015 - Rural Economic Development, Agri-Food Research, Business Risk Management, Telecommunications, Natural Gas Infrastructure)

Federal budget delivers for Ontario farmers
(March 24, 2016 - Rural Economic Development, Agri-Food Research, Telecommunications, Climate Change)

CRTC gets it right: farmers need high speed internet access
(January 13, 2017 - Telecommunications)

Working with ROMA for improved infrastructure in rural Ontario
(February 3, 2017 - Municipal Government, Rural Economic Development, Telecommunications, Property Assessment and Taxation, Drainage, Natural Gas Infrastructure, Provincial Funding Transfers to Municipalities )

CRTC broadband ruling an early Christmas gift for rural Ontario
(December 22, 2016 - Telecommunications)

The challenges of getting back to school in rural Ontario
(August 31, 2017 - Rural Economic Development, Education, Telecommunications)

Members talk ag growth on Parliament Hill
(March 17, 2017 - Energy, Transportation, Telecommunications, National Food Strategy®, Natural Gas Infrastructure, Climate Change)

OFA disappointed provincial budget does not grow agriculture
(April 28, 2017 - Rural Economic Development, Agri-Food Research, Environmental, Energy, Education, Business Risk Management, Transportation, Telecommunications, Income Tax, Property Assessment and Taxation, Drainage, Natural Gas Infrastructure, Provincial Funding Transfers to Municipalities , Climate Change)

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