For many, even healthcare has moved online. Virtual healthcare offers a more convenient and safer alternative to hospital or clinic visits for many types of appointments, examinations and procedure follow-ups.
Now that visiting a healthcare center carries additional risks, virtual care is becoming a key quality of life improvement for many, especially in rural or remote communities. It connects people in those communities to health services quicker and more safely than ever before, but only if those communities have the high-speed internet the service needs.
Many rural communities are underserved when it comes to reliable high-speed internet access. Less than half — about 40 per cent — have high-speed access that can enable remote learning, teleworking, and virtual healthcare; and that number drops to less than 30 per cent in reservation communities.
But change, and connection, are on the way, thanks to the Universal Broadband Fund. As part of the government’s Rural Economic Development strategy, the fund provides financing for internet infrastructure projects across the country. These projects are on track to connect 90 per cent of Canadian households by the end of 2021, with remote communities added by 2026.
As internet access continues to define the future of work, education, connection, and healthcare, the fund and the projects it powers will only become more important. You can check to see what projects are underway or coming to your area.
Find more information at canada.ca/getconnected.