Main Street in Stewart, British Columbia. (credit: District of Stewart)

In Stewart, British Columbia, there is no cell phone service, and aside from satellite, the town had just one option for anything resembling modern Internet access.

Unfortunately, that broadband provider has just shut down, leaving the remote Canadian district of about 500 residents with severely limited access to the Internet., a wireless home Internet provider that started in 1995, discontinued service at the end of November.

"The infrastructure required to deliver Internet and possibly cell service is extremely expensive—to do it effectively, Stewart needs a tower that can serve the entire community," Onewayout, a nonprofit organization, said on its website.

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