The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Industry Canada minister David Emerson boldly stated during a recent speech in Toronto that it is "absolutely essential" to push broadband access further into rural Canada. While some will see this as a renewed commitment from the feds, most will say, ‘Tell me something I didn’t know.’   Despite the minister’s pronouncement, the Canadian government must do more to make broadband Internet access in rural and remote communities a reality, and the only sure-fire way of making this happen is to deem broadband an essential service and entrench it the Telecommunications Act. Broadband pipes are without a doubt an essential requirement for participation in the information age, where government services and healthcare will be increasingly accessed over the Internet. Many speakers at the Access Forum in Whitehorse on September 9 suggested the government didn’t go far enough with its commitments to broadband funding. Minister Emerson admitted the job needs to be finished and has made a commitment to seek additional funding. This time, however, there is a sense that the "job" will get done, and the stars seem to be lining up. First of all, the last time an Industry Canada minister asked the federal Finance minister for broadband money, the two were adversaries in the Liberal Party leadership bid - Brian Tobin got a token dollar amount from Paul Martin. Secondly, a federal election is around the corner. Martin and Emerson have an opportunity to rally Canadian support behind a Liberal project that won’t cost too much money. Let’s hope they take it.