This is one of the Canadian CED Network’s CED in Manitoba Profiles Project produced 50 stories of Manitoba communities working to build fairer and stronger local economies, reduce poverty, and revitalize neighbourhoods.
The Voyageur Communications Cooperative is located in Ste. Anne, Manitoba and currently provides high-speed wireless internet to over 335 households and businesses in the rural south-eastern region of
Rural communities often struggle with ensuring that the required range of service is available to the people who live there, including the provision of access to the Internet. The south-easter part of Manitoba had been one such region which depends primarily on agricultural industries and holds many bilingual francophone communities. In rural communities, larger Internet service providers typically charge disproportionately higher service fees to maintain their profit margins and targets, and even in communities where satellite services are available, the bandwidth prices are often costly. Ultimately, it is those corporations that will decide if and when a community will gain access to the Internet, yet at the same time access to the Internet has become increasingly important for Canadians. Regions with limited or no internet connectivity face a growing disadvantage.