Liberal public forums continue “Affordable high speed internet

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Will Amos speaks with Sheenboro Mayor Doris Ranger at the meeting concerning affordable rural high speed internet service.

Peter L. Smith



Will Amos speaks with Sheenboro Mayor Doris Ranger at the meeting concerning affordable rural high speed internet service.

Peter L. Smith

L’ISLE-AUX-ALLUMETTES ­– Pontiac Liberal MP William Amos met with residents of the Upper Pontiac, November 10 at the Harrington Community Centre, to
discuss access to affordable high speed internet. Over 35 people attended the meeting to hear Amos and participate in a round table discussion on possible solutions to common problems. Amos held a similar forum in Otter Lake, November 9.
Amos noted the federal government is investing $1.2 billion over 5 years to improve access to high speed internet, something the provincial government is also investing in. The issue has often been discussed at the monthly MRC meetings and at public municipal meetings.
Amos stated that some constituents of the riding don’t know what it is like
to have anything other than dial-up internet. “Affordable, rural, high speed internet access is the number one priority of the federal government. It should be deemed an essential service necessary to doing business in today’s society. Rural Canada should have the same rights as Urban Canada in terms of this service. The CRTC will be releasing a statement on the issue soon,” said Amos.
Residents spoke about the ongoing issues with Picanoc.net and Xplornet service providers in terms of poor customer service. “More towers are needed and there needs to be more service providers, which would create a better price for consumers,” stressed one ratepayer.
Another ratepayer questioned whether it is possible to link both cell phone and internet service to have access to more towers and whether Ontario towers could be used. Another suggestion was to invite representatives from various internet providers to a public meeting to explain what they offer, the cost of their services, and how they can address the problems with speed variations that rural residents face.
“Given our smaller population, will companies see it profitable to compete for such a small market? Can governments mandate large companies to invest a percentage of their profits to improve rural internet service?” questioned another ratepayer.
Amos explained that the next step is to establish working groups with all levels of government to analyze options and communicate with the various providers. 
The next forum will be discussing the “Regional Economy”, to take place January 19 at 7 pm at Spruceholme in Fort-Coulonge. The same topic will be discussed the
following day in La Peche. is an essential service” – Will Amos