No towers, no fast service
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff If South Glengarry residents want improved cellphone and broadband Internet services, they’re going to have to bite the bullet in regards to a needed, but oftentimes controversial, infrastructure component, according to a leading representative from the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).
“The mobile project, the technology that is going to be used, it requires towers,” Jim Pine, EORN co-lead, told township council and administration during the June 3 regular council meeting.
“We’re being very upfront with everybody when we talk about this. This is about towers and broadcasting off those towers.”
Mr. Pine, who is also the CAO of Hastings County, empathized with council, pointing out that the topic of cellphone towers is sometimes a difficult one to stickhandle around.
“It’s always, or sometimes, an issue, particularly for local municipalities, in terms of the siting of the towers,” he said.
“We’re happy to work with you when we get to that stage, if there are issues.”
Mr. Pine, along with Lisa Severson, EORN communications/stakeholder relations officer, appeared before council to thank them for supporting EORN’s efforts over the past decade, as well as to provide an update on the proposed $213 million public-private partnership initiative to improve mobile and Internet services throughout Eastern Ontario announced last June.
EORN received $71 million from the province last month to help defray the total cost of the project, while all members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) and most municipalities within the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus (EOMC) have committed to contributing to the $10 million municipal share.
Mr. Pine said he is optimistic that the federal government will also pony up $71 million towards the project.
Mobile carriers, who will be selected through a competitive bidding process, are expected to pro
“We’re being upfront with everybody when we talk about this. This is about towers and broadcasting off those towers.”
vide the balance of the funding ($61 million).
Ms. Severson explained that she and Mr. Pine had other business in South Glengarry besides their presentation to council.
“We are meeting a group from Tree Haven (Road), here (June 5), with the Bell representative, just to discuss why there are (Internet service) issues there, and some of the possible solutions that might be able to take place,” she said.
“I think we’ll have a good meeting.”
Members of more than 30 households along Tree Haven Road petitioned South Glengarry council last fall, seeking municipal support in their battle for improved high-speed Internet service in their neighbourhood.
RIBBON CUTTING: South Glengarry’s tourism information booth/art gallery celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rob McIntosh building in South Lancaster on Monday morning. Shown are Kathi LeGault (featured artist), Rob McIntosh, Mayor Frank Prevost, Mikayla Elliott, Nick Seguin (SDG counties representative), Shauna Baggs (Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator), artists Darlene Varley, Sylvie Labrecque, Jacqueline Milner, summer student Callum Robertson, Deputy-Mayor Lyle Warden, Councillor Stephanie Jaworski.