They supplied phone service to farmers, and it benefited every aspect of the business. It also was on the scope of tens to hundreds of miles between major cities, which wasn't really that expensive.
What we're talking about here is running cables over thousands of miles of empty territory just to connect a few hundred people at the next tiny town. We're talking desolate shitholes like Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
These places have about ONE TENTH the population density of Alaska, so excuse these poor Provincial Canadians if they don't want to run a fibre line out in the woods for thousands of miles for your pet bear to chew on,