More county communities do away with dial up

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL - The days of listening to a noisy modem connect to the Internet came to an end yesterday for more than 700 county homes when three more wireless Internet towers came online.

"It took local cooperation to make this happen. The structure is on the town of Springhill's land and when we told them what we wanted to do the town was remarkably cooperative," Seaside High-Speed communications and client services manager Adam Conter said.

With towers also powering up on Higgins and Sugar Loaf Mountains on the same day, the range high-speed can now reach in Cumberland County alone is impressive. Over 40 rural communities from the Wentworth Valley region to South Brook can hook up their modems and subscribe to radio frequency Internet, increasing their download speeds and freeing the telephone line.

A two-phase project, the launch of the towers was part of phase one for the region, Conter said, but expects to see every and any home in rural Cumberland County can adopt high-speed Internet by 2009.

"Like a cell phone there will be some bumps in service - dips and valley [or] you're behind a mountain - but we're fairly confident by the end of the build…we will cover all gaps."

Seaside High Speed, a partner in the provincial government's initiative to bring high speed Internet to rural homes, was first awarded the provincial contract in 2007. Operating the same service in the Tidnish region of Cumberland, the scope of Seaside's endeavour is to provide high-speed service to 38,000 homes right across the province.

Seaside High-Speed not only launched the Internet service but also joined in the grand opening of Cumberland Satellite's storefront office on Main Street in Springhill. Contracted by Seaside High-Speed to handle residential installs, Cumberland Satellite's growth is exactly the type spin-off the Sydney-based wireless company hoped for when it bid on the provincial contract.

"Creating more services for communities creates more jobs and the opportunity for us to hire locally," Conter said.

Seaside has established a kiosk at the Cumberland Satellite office where customers and the curious can sit down and experience the wireless service and compare it to dial up.

In the coming weeks six more towers will be launched in the Colchester County region.

Communities which can now access high-speed Internet are: Atkinson, Black River Road, Collingwood Corner, East Hansford, East Mapleton, East Southampton, Farmington, Glenville, Greenville Station, Hansford, Jersey, Lilly, Little Forks, Lower Greenville, Lower Wentworth, Mapleton, Mattatall Lake, Oxford, River Philip, Rodney , Rose, Salt Springs, Salt Springs Station, Six Mile Brook, South Brook, South Victoria, Southampton, Stanley, Streets Ridge, Thomson Station, Valley Road, Victoria, Wentworth Centre, West Hansford, West Wentworth, Westchester Station, Westchester Valley, Westchester, Williamsdale, and Windham Hill.

Organizations: Greenville Station, Thomson Station, Westchester Station

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL, Wentworth Valley, Cumberland County South Brook Hansford Mapleton Southampton Victoria Westchester Valley Colchester County Black River Road Farmington Jersey Greenville Oxford Williamsdale Windham Hill

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