‘Slow In­ter­net forced peo­ple to move’

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

Res­i­dents of a South Glen­garry neigh­bour­hood are push­ing town­ship coun­cil for im­proved high-speed In­ter­net ser­vice.

The group, from Tree Haven Road in Sum­mer­stown, pre­sented coun­cil­lor-elect Sam McDonell with a pe­ti­tion con­tain­ing 68 sig­na­tures – rep­re­sent­ing 31 of 32 homes – re­quest­ing sup­port from their lo­cal elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives last Tues­day (Oc­to­ber 30).

“Ev­ery­one on the street has signed. Only one house is miss­ing and they’re out of town,” res­i­dent Robert Lamb told The News in an email last week.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Lamb, lo­cal home­own­ers and res­i­dents are hop­ing that coun­cil will be able to put pres­sure on “ei­ther Bell or Co­geco... to pro­vide In­ter­net ser­vices con­sis­tent with our needs to­day and into the fu­ture.”

An ex­cerpt from the pre­am­ble in­cluded with the pe­ti­tion ex­plains the “cur­rent sit­u­a­tion” af- fect­ing In­ter­net cus­tomers on Tree Haven Road.

“An un­for­tu­nate chal­lenge in our lo­ca­tion is that tower or satel­lite-based In­ter­net ser­vices are ei­ther not pos­si­ble at all or do not meet our needs. We have no other op­tion than to go with the ru­ral ser­vice provider, Xplor­net,” it states. “Their ser­vice is not up to par with cur­rent high-speed In­ter­net ser­vices that ex­ist with ei­ther a fi­bre or ca­ble net­work and the cost is quite pro­hib­i­tive.”

It adds that the un­der­signed “have been in­formed that Bell re­quires the ap­proval, in­vest­ment and sup­port from the town­ship for them to pro­ceed” with any po­ten­tial high-speed projects in that area.

The neigh­bour­hood’s present level of In­ter­net ser­vice leaves a lot to be de­sired, ac­cord­ing to the pre­am­ble.

“For the chil­dren go­ing to school and their par­ents, it is cur­rently im­pos­si­ble to ef­fec­tively and pro­duc­tively do re­search, home­work, af­ter-school men­tor­ing or on­line learn­ing at home,” it ex­plains.

“This is un­ac­cept­able and we all ...strongly feel, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the im­por­tant tax base we col­lec­tively rep­re­sent on Tree Haven, that we de­serve bet­ter ser­vice...”

The pe­ti­tion pre­am­ble also states that the sta­tus quo is ad­versely af­fect­ing prop­erty val­ues.

“Be­ing and re­main­ing com­pet­i­tive within the lo­cal real es­tate mar­ket is hugely im­por­tant and is neg­a­tively im­pacted by this In­ter­net de­fi­ciency,” it de­clares. “There are sev­eral (home) own­ers who have bought here in re­cent years that say that had they known about the type of In­ter­net we cur­rently have, would have cho­sen to live else­where. Some have even moved away for that rea­son.”

Im­proved high-speed In­ter­net for poorly-ser­viced or un­der-ser­viced ar­eas of the town­ship was a com­mon cam­paign prom­ise from South Glen­garry’s coun­cil can­di­dates dur­ing the re­cent mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion cam­paign.

MAR­GARET CALDBICK PHOTO

SA­LUTE: Sil­ver Cross Mother Ann Wind is es­corted by Cor­po­ral Justin Roberge, a North Lan­caster na­tive, from the 5th Cana­dian Mech­a­nized Brigade Group in Val­cartier, Que­bec, at a Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony in Ap­ple Hill Sun­day. More de­tails in­side.

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