The past year has taught us many things, perhaps more than usual for any year in recent memory — and among those, we’ve come to realize that internet is essential to our daily lives. And for rural residents, this has never been more apparent, as health care, education, and in many cases our jobs have moved online.
COVID-19 and the need for everyone to isolate in their homes has resulted in a spike in demand for residential broadband internet.
Yet “time and again, rural Canadians have identified unreliable and slow internet coverage as their number one issue,” says the government of Canada, when talking about its efforts to improve rural connectivity. This lack of access impedes their safety, ability to earn a living, education and health care. On a day-to-day level it affects how people in rural communities do business — for instance, their ability to accept Interac payments — or how they must access the internet from places other than home or avoid peak times to ensure adequate connection speeds.
The federal government has recognized that internet is essential to daily life and has committed $585 million to the Universal Broadband Fund program, aimed at bringing broadband to rural communities across the country by 2023.
Where Valo Fits In
We started Valo Networks because we understand the challenges rural communities face, and we know there’s an opportunity to bring broadband to these communities in a way that will allow them to fully participate in the digital economy, beyond geographical borders. The last year has seen our lives change profoundly, and we know going forward that those changes will demand robust technology infrastructure for all areas of the country.
We’re here to work alongside rural municipalities, counties and districts to help ensure they can provide their constituents with the connectivity they need to thrive. We build local infrastructure, invest in transport fibre back to major centres, and provide carrier-neutral wholesale services. Our model allows municipalities to retain ownership over their network, allowing them to control connections, services, and competitive offerings.
Our leadership team includes technology disrupters and entrepreneurs who’ve built and operated networks across several jurisdictions, locally and internationally — and members who live rurally. We understand how vital the timely construction and upgrading of infrastructure is to Canadians outside urban centres, whether they need access to school, are trying to run a business, want to use a streaming service, or are using agricultural technology to improve farming processes. Broadband connects all of us, and we should all be equally connected.