Better broadband for everybody?

NDP leader Rachel Notley recently pledged top-grade broadband access in every corner of the province, by 2027.

But there’s a catch: We have to elect them first, or they can’t make it happen.

That’s more or less the story, or at least the bottom line of the story. There are a few other details. One of them is an estimated government investment of $520 million. Another is jobs created. Yet another is the establishment of a new government agency, whose goal would be to achieve this ideal of ‘100 per cent coverage.’ And an ‘affordability credit.’

This sort of stuff can too easily be dismissed as posturing for effect, but before we get into that, let’s also say it’s a bold idea and maybe one (or one something like it) that is long overdue. People are fed up with a lot of things, and one of them is certainly lousy internet service. The NDP in Canada (or its predecessor, the CCF) has long played a role of coming up with really good ideas, which the party in power then swipes and enacts in one form or another – universal health care being the best example.

So before we dismiss this one as mere cynical politicking, let’s give it the credit it deserves.

Meanwhile, the current government is not winning many fans in these parts, and won’t, until highways get a bit more driveable. Maybe they’ll do something sharp and steal the NDP idea on broadband and make it happen. It might be worth a few points at the polls.

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