Will Internet speeds go up in Stanley Bridge?

By Jim Brown

Slow, slower, slowest. The speeds at which a junkball pitcher without a good fastball throws to fool a batter.

It also describes the frustration many residents in rural PEI feel about their so-called “high speed” internet.

Stanley Bridge and North Granville residents packed the North Granville Community Centre on Sept 19th to hear proposals to improve internet service.

Crowd at North Granville Community Center

It was almost an overflow crowd at the North Granville Community Centre to hear proposals for improving high speed internet access in the Stanley Bridge area. Jim Brown photo.

Of course nothing comes for free.

Among the five or so proposals discussed at the meeting, led by area resident Wayne Carew, the cost would range from $500 to $1,000 per household, which would paid off within a year through savings.

Not exactly small change.

Areas included in the proposals for upgrading included much of the Rattenbury Road, Ward Lane, Taylor Road, Judson Lane, Kellie Lane, Gary’s Lane and Maple Ridge Road.

The Province is offering to cost share new internet service with providers such as Bell Aliant and Eastlink, with residents contributing towards the cost. It is believed the Province will cover up to half the cost, but there is no firm commitment.

Carew and government representatives wanted to gauge the level of interest, to see if there is enough to hold a second meeting. Apparently there was.

Cutting and trimming trees to put in new lines is expensive, residents were told.

It can cost approximately $35,000 per kilometre to install distribution fibre or cable. Poles in rural areas are often spaced far apart, which adds to the cost.

As for those who wanted the lines installed underground, that likely wasn’t going to happen since the cost would be several fold more costly than above ground lines.

The federal government is getting into the high speed internet game in a big way – committing as much as $750 million for internet improvement over the next few years, with PEI expected to get about $23 million.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will likely get involved with internet upgrading across the Island.

“The only reason we are all here is because we are not satisfied with our internet service,” said Carew.

“It’s not time to get up and raise our individual beefs…The fact is we have to take some initiative on our own and determine whether or not we want this to happen,” he said.

Carew warned residents who are considering waiting for governments to take action to boost high speed internet access could be waiting a long time.

Carew said he and his wife had lived in the area for 15 years “and it hasn’t happened. So again I think we have to take a little bit of responsibility onto our own shoulders.”

Caption: It was almost an overflow crowd at the North Granville Community Centre to hear proposals for improving high speed internet access in the Stanley Bridge area. Jim Brown photo.


Surveillance cameras for Cavendish in the works?

By Jim Brown.

Be careful if you get up to mischief in the Resort Municipality of Cavendish in the near future. Somebody, actually, something, could be watching you and that could lead to a visit from law enforcement officers.
The resort municipality’s councilors have had enough of theft and vandalism and are planning to install surveillance cameras.

The issue was addressed at Council’s regular monthly meeting on Sept 18.

Graham’s Lane, Resort Municipality of Cavendish, where 145 solar lights were stolen.

Back in the spring 145 solar light fixtures were stolen or vandalized, of the 244 that were installed on Graham’s Lane. The solar lights served double duty – providing safety markers and also enhancing the appearance of the area where they were installed. Now there are just empty poles where the lights were, including the remaining lights that hadn’t been stolen.

The lights cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 to replace.

When they are installed, a number of them will likely include cameras.

Council will seek quotes but hasn’t authorized the cameras yet, said Chair Matthew Jelley.

“I think cameras are the way to go,” said a councilor, adding solar lights can be programmed to have cameras switch on at certain times. They can also be set for motion detection.

“Cameras can be a wonderful thing,” she said.

Councillors were also concerned about the increasing prevalence of graffiti in the municipality.

The favored targets of graffiti artists were sewer lift stations and on highway electrical boxes. Much of the damage was done in the spring.