Regular readers might remember that I did a post not too long ago about our pressing need to get internet access at the Manse, and asking the advice of people in the Queensborough area about what kind of service works best.
If you go back and look at the comments I got on that post, you’ll see that many of them are of the “Good luck with that” variety, from local residents discouraged about the poor quality of internet reception. Despite the plan by an outfit known as EORN –yes, I know it sounds like a character in Winnie-the-Pooh, but actually it’s an acronym for Eastern Ontario Regional Network, and an association of the county wardens of Eastern Ontario is behind it – to bring high-speed internet to all of us in rural Ontario, Queensborough is still lacking. It seems the problem is that our little hamlet is in a valley, which means the houses there can’t generally get a clear wireless signal from EORN towers that have been erected in the not-terribly-distant hamlets of Eldorado and Flinton.
The result is that many people are having to make do with getting internet via a satellite dish. I’ve heard varying levels of satisfaction with this: some people say it’s pretty good, while others are annoyed when bad weather cuts off their access. As someone who has been spoiled (though I never thought of it that way until now) by high-speed internet provided by a cable company in the big city for many years, I confess it horrifies me to think of losing access because of a stupid snowfall, or fog. So tonight I thought I’d tell you about the progress (or lack of same) that Raymond and I have made on this front.
We called up Xplornet, which is the service provider for the EORN network. A very nice chap came out and met us at the Manse, and I explained to him that I am not thrilled at the idea of internet by satellite. “Find a way to link us to the Eldorado or Flinton tower!” I practically begged him. (Hoping the fact that the Manse is on a bit of a rise in the village might help our cause.) He proceeded to check the strength of the signal all around our property, and the verdict wasn’t good. Not only would we have to use a dish, he said, but we’d have to mount it on a pole that would have to be erected (encased in concrete) on the line between our property and that of our neighbours.
So let’s get this straight: we have to pay $250 or so to put up a pole, in addition to the regular internet-setup cost; that pole is a permanent fixture, given that it’s encased in concrete; it mars our property and the sightlines of both us and our neighbours; and what we end up with is less-than-optimal internet thanks to an ugly dish.
There has to be a better way.
And rest assured that I am pursuing it. It seems to me that if EORN is committed, as it says it is, to bringing good high-speed internet to Eastern Ontario, then Queensborough deserves to be in on the deal. If towers for wireless service can be built at Flinton and Eldorado, then why not the Queensborough area? Or a repeater, to relay those other towers’ signals?
People, I am on the case and I am going to be like a dog with a bone. I will call, I will email, I will petition whoever it takes: EORN, Xplornet, the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, the warden of Hastings County (who just happens to be this year’s president of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus), my MPP, the Queen – whatever it takes. I’ve made some preliminary inquiries, and I will keep you posted on progress.
Meantime, anyone who wants to join me in the battle – well, you know where to find me. Except maybe – if I’m in Queensborough – not on the internet. Yet.