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Slow rollout of rural internet creating economic rift: audit – CTV News

March 27, 2023

OTTAWA – The federal government’s slow rollout of high-speed internet to rural areas is putting First Nations at an economic disadvantage while billions of dollars earmarked to fix the issue remains untouched, says Canada’s auditor general.

The lack of internet access continues to exclude First Nation reserves from accessing education, work and medical or government services online, Karen Hogan says in a report released Monday — despite there being billions of dollars in last year’s budget to address their needs.

“Internet and mobile services is not equal for all Canadians,” reads the audit report, which analyzed data from 2018 to 2021.

On First Nations, about 43 per cent of households have high-speed internet, while 91 per cent of households across Canada do. In rural and remote areas, about 60 per cent have access to high-speed internet.

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