Saskatchewan Rural Internet Options Just Got Better!

Saskatchewan rural internet options

Saskatchewan Rural Internet options are finally catching up to the standards that urban dwellers enjoy (and maybe take for granted).

For too long rural residents have settled for being ‘the forgotten ones’ when it comes to technological advances in connecting our communities. Thanks to emerging local small businesses with vision and strong community values, the landscape is changing. 

This article spotlights the current state of rural internet in Saskatchewan, the challenges we still face, and what is on the near horizon for the highest internet speeds yet.

The Current State of Rural Internet in Saskatchewan

Studies conducted during and after the pandemic from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) suggest that “at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the median download speed in rural areas was about 5.42 Mbps, far behind the median 26.16 Mbps in cities.”

The study continues: “As lockdowns took hold and Canadians worked increasingly from home, city dwellers benefited from big improvements, while those living in the country had to cope with speeds that improved at a much slower rate. By March 2021 the median speed in cities grew to 51.09 Mbps, compared to about 9.74 Mbps in rural areas, meaning the disparity grew substantially during the pandemic.”

The Impact On Education, Healthcare, and Businesses

The impact of slow and unreliable internet access goes far beyond basic internet usage. It affects rural residents’ ability to access education, healthcare, and business opportunities. 

For example, students in rural areas often struggle with remote learning due to poor internet connectivity. This can limit their access to online learning resources and virtual classrooms. Similarly, rural healthcare providers may face challenges in providing remote care to patients, such as telemedicine consultations. 

Slow internet speeds can also hinder businesses’ ability to operate efficiently, limiting their access to online markets and customers.

Challenges Faced in Improving Rural Internet

Improving rural internet in Saskatchewan has been a long-standing issue due to several challenges. While recent investments have improved the situation, there are still several obstacles to overcome. In this section, we will discuss three major challenges faced in improving rural internet.

The Vast and Sparsely Populated Geography of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is a vast province with a low population density. This makes it challenging to provide internet access to rural areas due to the high cost of building and maintaining infrastructure. The distance between communities and the lack of existing infrastructure can make it difficult and expensive to provide reliable internet service to rural areas.

The Cost and Feasibility of Laying Fiber-Optic Cables in Rural Areas

Fiber-optic cables are the most reliable and fastest way to provide high-speed internet. However, laying fiber-optic cables in rural areas can be costly due to the vast distances involved. In addition, the terrain and weather conditions in rural areas can also pose challenges. These factors make it challenging to justify the cost of laying fiber-optic cables in rural areas.

Solutions For Saskatchewan’s Rural Internet Options

When Wood River Internet Founder and CEO moved his family to Lafleche, Saskatchewan (before he started the company), he experienced first-hand the glaring need for faster, more reliable internet options for rural dwellers. 

“It’s the whole reason that I started Wood River Internet” John says. “It was a much bigger problem than just my family. Somebody needed to do something”. 

8 years later, John’s hardworking technicians are braving snow and blizzards to raise and install towers to connect even more communities in rural Saskatchewan.

At the time of this article, Wood River Internet has erected 152 operational towers, of which 53 sites offer 60 Mbps speeds, and 17 sites offer 100 Mbps speeds. The rest of rural Saskatchewan still enjoys speeds of 20 or 40 Mbps.  

John estimates that 2 new towers are going up every month so more and more communities are bridging the gap of disparity for internet speeds.

Benefits of Improved Rural Internet in Saskatchewan

The recent investment in rural wireless infrastructure in Saskatchewan has significantly improved rural internet options in the province. In this section, we will discuss three major benefits of rural internet in Saskatchewan.

Enhanced Access to Education and Healthcare Services

Improved rural internet has brought about enhanced access to education and healthcare services for rural residents. With reliable high-speed internet, students can participate in online learning programs, access educational resources, and attend virtual classes. 

Healthcare providers can also provide remote consultations and access medical resources online, improving access to healthcare services for rural residents.

Boosting Local Businesses and the Economy Through E-commerce and Remote Work Options

Improved internet options also benefit local businesses and the economy in rural Saskatchewan. With reliable high-speed internet, rural businesses can expand their reach and sell products and services online. This in turn opens up new markets and revenue streams. 

Additionally, improved internet access enables remote work options, providing rural residents with more job opportunities and contributing to the growth of the local economy.

Increased Quality of Life and Connectivity for Rural Residents

Reliable high-speed internet has significantly improved the quality of life for rural residents. It provides them with access to essential services and resources that were previously inaccessible due to geographic barriers. 

Improved internet access also promotes social connectivity, allowing rural residents to talk with family and friends online, participate in virtual events, connect with fellow gamers, and stay up-to-date with news and current events.


Saskatchewan’s rural internet options are finally catching up to those in urban areas, improving the quality of life for rural residents. For too long, rural residents have been left behind in terms of technological advances. However, recent investments and emerging local small businesses are changing the landscape. 

Despite the challenges faced in improving rural internet, the recent investment in rural broadband infrastructure by companies like Wood River Internet has led to significant improvements in rural internet options.

These improvements have brought about several benefits for rural residents. These include better access to education and healthcare services, boosting local businesses and the economy through e-commerce and remote work options, and increased quality of life and connectivity. 

Overall, the recent improvements to rural internet options in Saskatchewan are a welcome development and highlight the importance of bridging the digital divide to ensure equal access to essential services and opportunities for all residents, regardless of their location.