Is better internet service finally at hand?

PORT McNEILL-Council, MLA seek assurances from Telus following completion of fibre-optic line from Sayward

Like groundhog Wiarton Willie, the topic of Internet service on the North Island reared its head at the Town of Port McNeill council meeting Feb. 2.

Mayor Shirley Ackland told her fellow councillors that she had spoken to Ray Lawson from Telus earlier in the day and was told they have completed all the the fibre optic installation to Port McNeill and within the next two weeks will be sending live signals.

“He is in charge of the project that is up here,” Ackland said.

As customers are migrated onto the system, the mayor was told “we will notice improved service.”

Skepticism remains though.

“Telus keeps telling us the same thing,” said Councillor Aaron Frost.

Frost said people are paying for high speed internet, and what they are receiving is akin to dial-up. He encouraged as many people as possible to call customer service and voice their concerns.

“It shows genuine community-mindedness,” agreed Councillor Jay Dixon.

Ackland said Lawson is scheduled to be present at the Regional District of Mount Waddington meeting set for February 17.

Ackland said, in a subsequent interview, that the lines from Port McNeill to Port Hardy have been in the ground for about the last 10 years, however the lines from Campbell River to Port McNeill did not exist until now.

Local councils are not the only government voices calling for improved service.

Improvements in communications are vital for the economic and social health of our communities as well as for safety, says North Island MLA Claire Trevena.

Trevena is urging both Telus and the Ministry of Technology and Citizen Services to step up and ensure North Island communities receive equity in service. She has written to request action on broadband internet, cell service and pagers.

“It’s 2015 and we are falling behind,” said Trevena.

“I regularly hear about the lack of cell coverage on our major highways – 19 and 28 – and another accident highlighted how desperate that need is.

“And we know we are getting improved internet service to Port McNeill, but Port Hardy and Port Alice also need to have broadband. It allows access to education, to healthcare, to economic opportunities.

“This is as important to communities as electrification once was. Our communities are no less deserving than the south island or lower mainland.”

There are still people on a waiting list to get on the internet, Trevena said.

Trevena is also raising, with both Telus and the government, concerns about the potential loss of pager service. In areas where there is no cell phone, pagers are the lifeline for emergency responders.

She has offered to work with Telus and the Ministry to find solutions which would allow all North Island communities be connected.

 

Just Posted

Scotiabank faces disgruntled Port Alice crowd

Residents were told the ATM will not be staying, along with the vault and other physical attributes.

VIDEOS: North Island Bantam Eagles place second at Tier 3 Bantam Championships in Port Hardy

“This is now a piece of North Island history and will be talked about for many years to come.”

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tier 3 Bantam Championships

“The packed arena and electricity within was fantastic.”

Port Hardy RCMP issues warning about recent overdose

“Our primary concern is public safety. We are urging the public to be aware of what is circulating.”

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Fired B.C. farmland commission chair backs NDP rule changes

Richard Bullock agrees with Lana Popham, ALC records don’t

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Vancouver Island shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Most Read