Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott says all the residents in his municipality will have access to Internet this spring.
The township has reached an agreement with Tek Savvy to cover every corner of the municipality.
Much of Enniskillen in was left without service when Industry Canada allowed Bell Canada to abandon a rural internet service set up for south Lambton to provide better cellular service. The Internet customers were left with few choices – some only able to access a costly mobile wireless system through Bell.
Even the township’s municipal building faced the prospect of no Internet when the service was cut.
Enniskillen worked out a deal with the Town of Petrolia and SLICC in Wyoming to provide some service, including to the municipal office but there were large pockets without any access.
So township council has been trying to work out a deal to provide more service. It received approval from Industry Canada to build a tower for Internet service just before Christmas. And just last week, Marriott says the township came to an agreement with Tek Savvy which will provide access to the whole municipality.
The township will spend between $35,000 or $40,000 on two new towers, one at the Oil City Water Treatment site on Oil Heritage Road and the other at the municipal office.
Tek Savvy will install the systems on the towers. It will also use existing towers it has in Brigden and Wanstead.
Marriott says work on the towers will begin almost immediately and he’s hopeful residents will be able to get 10 MB service by April or May. And at about $50 per month, Marriott is pleased with the price for residents as well. Enniskillen could recoup all of its costs to build the towers through rates in as little as 10 years.
Marriott says the County of Lambton has been considering a regional project which would bring fibre optic Internet to all of southwest Ontario but it would take far to long. He believes it is at least 15 years away for his residents.
“This is not fibre optics but it is a heck of a lot better than what people are getting now,” says Marriott. “The work on the fibre optic is a long-term thing.”
This plan, he says will be a stopgap for his community which has been asking for the service.
“I never had so many people call me when they heard something, they call me and say ‘where do I sign?’”
“It is one of the most urgent things out there…people don’t have access or its so expensive.”