Rural Internet Service
At the Internet Forum in April, residents shared their frustration with the Panel of Internet Providers. In a subsequent Internet Survey, 363 folks shared their experiences including many heartbreaking stories. (I’m happy to share results of the 10-day survey upon request.)
Updates February 2nd:
Our initial phase 2 build has taken a bit longer than anticipated; however 3 new towers have been acquired and will be in operation between now and the end of March. We also have a new 400ft tower that we purchased from Cogeco that will provide additional coverage in the phase 1 area, as well as expand services in the Speyside area where we have had some coverage issues previously.
Xplornet has upgraded a number of their towers with LTE Service. If you would like more information on the location of these towers & if it might improve your service, email me with your approximate location & I will forward your request to my contact at Xplornet for review & to reply to you directly. (note: I recently connected to a LTE tower & it helped – it was worth my cost.)
Meeting with Provincial Government
I will be meeting with the Ontario Minister of Infrastructure to discuss the serious implications of substandard internet service in rural areas attached to large municipalities. The meeting is scheduled during the ROMA/OGRA Conference which I am attending on behalf of Milton in late February.
I have requested to appear at the CRTC Hearings in April to share our concerns.
Efforts to call attention to the sad state of rural internet service continue.
Locally: Xplornet upgrades to some towers has improved service for some residents.
Standard Broadband has just finished an acquisition for a 300ft tower on Townline between 15 & 20 Sideroads (I believe this is the Nass/Esquesing Townline) and hope to have it on the air by early December.
Bell continues to ignore requests for information.
Regionally: This has become an issue for Halton Region. You can support this need by attending Rural Agricultural Strategy session on Wednesday. (info above)
GTA: The GTA Mayors group has identified this as a key issue.
Provincial and Federal: I am assured that this is a key issue with AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario – Milton Councillor Colin Best is on this Board of Directors) and FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities – Halton Hills Councillor Clark Sommerville is their President-elect) and ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipalities Association – Halton Hill Councillor Bryan Lewis is on their Board)
I believe we are making progress… albeit not as quickly as we’d like!
We’ll see if my request to appear at the CRTC Hearings in April are successful
The history of what’s been happening:
- A Notice of Motion is being considered at the Council Meeting on May 25th – I fully expect it to pass unanimously.
- I was interviewed for the CBC Radio program “Spark”. Some of you will recognize your ‘quotes’. Its worth watching as it includes information on how you can verify your usage.
- The Milton Champion published a story on the Rural Internet Service Meeting.
- The CRTC is seeking volunteers to participate in a broadband measurement project. At the moment, eligible participants must subscribe to Internet services offered by the following ISPs: Bell, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, Eastlink, Videotron, Rogers, Shaw, TELUS, Northwestel and MTS Allstream. In addition, the broadband services being tested are limited to those that are advertised as having download speeds of 5 megabits or higher. Other ISPs may decide to participate later on.
- Standard Broadband has expanded its service around the Hamlets of Moffat and Brookville. I’ve heard favourable comments from these customers.
- Xplornet is installing improved equipment on some of their towers. I’ve had reports that this has resulted in greatly improved service.