Need for speed

Paul Herridge
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Grand Bank Town Council calling on Bell Aliant to upgrade fibre-optic network

Many rural areas of the province are being left behind when it comes to Internet connection speeds, according to Grand Bank Town Council.

During last week’s regular meeting, council members agreed to lobby Bell Aliant to upgrade its network in the area to higher-speed fibre-optic technology.

Mayor Rex Matthews acknowledged the company told him last year the community wasn’t on the current list of towns in line to receive the service.

“I think they have a responsibility to smaller communities in rural Newfoundland and Labrador to deliver on some of these new technologies,” he said, adding businesses, schools and the general public would all benefit.

“How long more do we have to wait in Grand Bank? They’ve done some smaller communities.”

Councillor Travis Parsons, who was also vocal on the issue, noted the video streaming is instantaneous with fibre-optic technology, a big advantage when taking online education courses.

“Without it, depending on the load on the system and which provider you’re with, it’s cutting in and out. You’re not getting it in high-definition quality,” he said.

On a personal note, he said higher Internet speeds would be a big benefit for his photography business, which requires him to upload large files.

“We have an entire region of the province … who can’t access the world it’s just as well to say,” Parsons noted, referring to the Burin Peninsula.

Matthews suggested the Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and other communities in the region should also pressure the company for a commitment.

pherridge@southerngazette.ca

Organizations: Bell Aliant, Grand Bank Town Council, Grand Bank Burin Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Burin

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