Not just isolated communities with slow internet, says Little Rapids resident
Shawn Leamon wants CRTC to uphold commitment to provide 5 mb/s internet speed to all communities
A resident of Little Rapids on Newfoundland's west coast says his internet speed is much slower than what Bell Aliant advertised.
Shawn Leamon said when he signed up for $100-per-month high speed internet service, he was told he should be able to reach speeds of 1.2 megabytes per second (mb/s), which he felt was an acceptable bandwidth for a small community like Little Rapids.
However, recently he's noticed web pages are exceptionally slow to load, and he isn't even able to bring up the most basic websites and services on his laptop.
"I came home Monday night and I couldn't even get my email to load up it was so slow," he said. "I checked my speed and it was 0.2 mb/s."
Cell signal stronger
Leamon has been using an application that tests internet speeds over the last few months, and hasn't seen it hit 1 mb/s once. That means he can't do anything other than load simple pages and email. Watching Netflix, for example, is out of the question at his house.
In fact, he wanted to tweet a picture of his speed results for Bell Aliant to see, but couldn't get a strong enough connection through his Wi-Fi to do so.
<a href="https://twitter.com/Bell_Aliant">@Bell_Aliant</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Gudie">@Gudie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BerniceCBC">@BerniceCBC</a> how's these Internet speeds in Little Rapids tonight. Bell Needs to fix this now. Had to use phone to tweet. <a href="https://t.co/KxKA9xKrPM">pic.twitter.com/KxKA9xKrPM</a>—@shawnleamon
"Heaven forbid if you have more than one connection in the home," he said. "If you have two or three smartphones or a laptop going, forget it. Thank heavens I don't have teenagers anymore, because one of us would be in trouble."
Not isolated, but still slow
Leamon said Bell Aliant has sent technicians to look at his service, and they've replaced infrastructure which has worked temporarily. After his social media post this week, the company sent another technician out and his speeds went back up to 1.3 mb/s.
Despite that, Leamon has been told Little Rapids is unable to get the faster FibreOp service because there aren't enough people living there to justify the expensive upgrade.
According to the 2016 census, 225 people live in the town just outside Corner Brook.
Leamon said lately he's been hearing news about the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications's commitment to providing basic 5 mb/s internet service to rural communities, which he applauds.
However, Leamon would like the CRTC to realize that some communities that aren't as isolated also need to have good speeds.
"There are other areas in this province that aren't as rural as some little community at the tip of the Northern Peninsula, or wherever," he said.
"We're only 10 kilometres from the third biggest city in the province – Corner Brook – and we don't get high speed internet here."
Bell Aliant declined the opportunity to speak to CBC about internet speeds in Little Rapids.
With files from Corner Brook Morning Show