MODG meeting

Council supports broadband effort, gets CLC update

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – At last Wednesday's regular meeting of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, council voted unanimously to support the efforts of Seaside Communications to safeguard its access to the "radio frequency spectrum" needed to increase bandwidth to service rural communities, including Guysborough County.

The federal government is currently doing consultations around broadband services, and urban providers would like to have more of that radio spectrum.

Earlier this year the CRTC set a target of 50MB per second for broadband service. With recent improvements, Seaside Communications has been able to increase its speed to 10 MB per second for 75 per cent of its customers.

In an interview with The Journal Tuesday, Parker Dunham of Seaside Communications described the CRTC standard as an "ambitious goal." He added that Seaside "would like nothing more than to meet that target." But doing so at some point in the future means protecting the sections of radio frequency spectrum that have been reserved for rural providers. "The appetite for spectrum in urban areas is very big," said Dunham. If rural providers were required to stay within the spectrum they currently use, no growth in service standards can be met in the future, he explained.

"It's so important in our rural communities to have good broadband internet connections," MODG's CAO Barry Carroll told The Journal.

"The government has a role to play in making this happen in rural areas where there's not the density in population that makes for a strong business model. Government has to find a way to support that," said Carroll.

He added that MODG has been lobbying both the provincial and federal governments for provide improved internet and cell service in Guysborough County.

Council also had its regular update on progress in construction of the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex. This week glass is being installed around the shinny rink, where boards were recently put into place. Most of the outside siding has been completed and work is ongoing in the interior. The project is on schedule.