Internet at cabin moves like maple syrup

This past weekend, I took my laptop to the lake to follow the results of the Kenora Bass International tournament where friends were fishing.
At home and at work, I enjoy Internet services that are relatively high speed. Researching and gathering information from the Internet is really easy.
That speed is available within the boundaries of Fort Frances if you are a cable subscriber or through Internet service providers. But outside of Fort Frances, the ease of using the Internet can be as painful as having a tooth pulled.
The Internet was painful at the cabin—moving as quickly as maple syrup flowing uphill in January.
During the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship last month, several business people who were staying in our community approached the Times to use our access to check their e-mails and send information back to the corporations because the speeds were so slow in their hotels.
It was not a good selling point for our community.
The Rainy River Future Development Corp. has been working with district municipalities to bring high-speed Internet services to the district. They had put together a proposal based on the criteria of the Ontario government program called COBRA (Connect Ontario Broad Regional Access Program).
That program has now been cancelled—and no replacement is in sight.
The program was developed by the provincial government so rural and under-serviced areas could build broadband infrastructure to assist small industries and business in accessing the global economy.
It also would give students access to the world from their homes for doing school work assignments and others looking to take advanced courses from universities and colleges across Canada.
This change in government policy is troubling.
Businesses now looking to locate in Northwestern Ontario depend on the Internet. People looking to raise families in the northwest want their children to be successful and capable of competing for positions at colleges and universities in Canada.
Broadband infrastructure is as important to the success of a community and its people as is sewer, water, health, and education facilities. And now is the appropriate time for district municipal leaders to storm Queen’s Park and demand broadband support to assist their communities’ economic development and growth.
They will find they have support from fellow rural leaders in hundreds of similar communities across Ontario.

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