Improvement of Internet Access in Saskatchewan Rural Schools

Res #: 19-23A
Number: 19
Year: 2023
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education, Saskatchewan Ministry of Crown Corporations

WHEREAS there currently exists a disparity with respect to internet connectivity between urban and rural schools in
the province of Saskatchewan.

WHEREAS there is a need to bridge the connectivity gap of broadband service provided to rural schools when
compared to urban schools. It is crucial for rural students to have equitable access to technology and learning

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government, including the Ministry of Education, and all internet
service providers in Saskatchewan, to jointly review and make recommendations on expanding broadband service to
rural schools.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Education

April 18, 2024

Thank you for your letter to the Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, regarding Expiring Resolution 19-23A. Minister Duncan has asked me to respond to you directly as the Minister of Education.

Through an agreement with SaskTel, the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement and eHealth Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Education funds and provides CommunityNet – high speed broadband network and Internet access, to provincial school divisions and their schools. CommunityNet is available to all schools in Saskatchewan.

Bandwidth needs are identified by school divisions and connections are upgraded as requested. The network capacity is reviewed annually to ensure broadband speeds are meeting schools1 needs. Since 2021, a connectivity target of 0.4Mbps/student has been met or exceeded in almost all provincial schools, with most accessing broadband speeds of at least SOM bps download and SOM bps upload. Most schools in rural Saskatchewan have speeds of l00Mbps or higher, equivalent to their urban counterparts.

We are confident that connectivity throughout the province will continue to evolve with technology to meet the needs of education in the future.

Jeremy Cockrill – Minister of Education