Ottawa

Residents tired of living on the road the internet forgot

People living along a rural road on the shore of the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ont., say they're fed up with slow internet service, and are demanding their township council do something about it.

32 households along Tree Haven Road near Cornwall, Ont., demanding high-speed service

People living along Tree Haven Road in Summerstown, Ont., say it takes ages to download images over their current satellite internet service. Videos? Forget about it. (Shutterstock)

People living along a rural road on the shore of the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ont., say they're fed up with slow internet service, and are demanding their township council do something about it.

Tree Haven Road is a wooded, L-shaped residential street off Highway 2, bordering Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in the community of Summerstown.

People living there have submitted a petition to South Glengarry township councillor-elect Sam McDonell demanding his help bringing fibre-optic high-speed internet to the 32 households on the road.

"We have a pretty bad situation here," resident Robert Lamb told CBC Radio's Ontario Morning. "If you are trying to do homework or download a page … it takes quite a bit of time to do it, and many times it [just] times out."

The petition also asks the township to help fund the upgrade. 

Young families 'stuck'

The nearest Tim Hortons, in South Lancaster, is often bursting with locals using the coffee shop's free Wi-Fi, sometimes slowing internet service there, too, Lamb said.  

"Young families are stuck in situations where their kids either have to stay after school to use the internet there to do their homework assignments, or go to friends' houses," Lamb said. "It's not really a level playing field for the younger kids."

Tree Have Road resident Robert Lamb is hoping a petition will help bring high-speed internet to his rural community near Cornwall, Ont. (33)
Tree Haven Road is currently served by satellite internet, which is very difficult to use, he said. It takes one to two minutes to download an image, and videos are nearly impossible to download. 

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recommends all homes should have access to at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for online downloading, and 10 Mbps for uploading.  

Equal access 

"It's important as Canadians [that] we have equal access to adequate speeds on the internet that allow us to conduct our day to day living," Lamb said.

Just why Tree Haven Road was left out when neighbouring communities were wired is a bit of a mystery, Lamb said. Whatever the origin, Lamb and his neighbours are hoping their petition will spur their local politicians to act.

"What we would like them to do is to get their support to make contact with the powers that be, and probably secure some funding," he said. 

CBC Radio's Ontario Morning

now