'It's quite frustrating': North shore residents asking why nearby subdivision getting better internet

Bell Aliant is running its fibre op high speed service into a subdivision in North Granville and nearby residents are asking why they can't have it, too.

Community meeting set for May 8 in Stanley Bridge to discuss internet issues

Bell Aliant said work to bring high speed internet to Granville on the Water is underway and is expected to be completed in the next few months. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Residents near a North Granville subdivision that is getting high speed internet are asking why they can't have it, too.

Bell Aliant confirmed it is bringing fibre cable high speed internet to the Granville on the Water subdivision, off the Rattenbury Road. Opposition MLA Brad Trivers represents the area, and said he's hearing lots of questions from people asking why they can't take advantage of the new wires that are being installed. 

"Everybody on the way knows that it's being run and they want to have the same service, and Bell is saying they're not going to provide it to them at this point," said Trivers. 

Opposition MLA Brad Trivers checks out a recent fibre wire that has been installed in the subdivision. (Laura Meader/CBC)

In an email to CBC, Isabelle Boulet of Bell Aliant said the company was able to make a business case for the expansion in Granville on the Water, but there were no plans to expand the same internet service to other areas nearby. 

The fibre cable we installed along Rattenbury Road is a transport cable designed to connect our facilities and not a fibre distribution line.- Isabelle Boulet of Bell Aliant

"The fibre cable we installed along Rattenbury Road is a transport cable designed to connect our facilities and not a fibre distribution line," said Boulet. 

"We don't have anything to announce right now about plans to expand fibres services in the area."

CBC asked if the transport cable could be used to hook up others, but Bell Aliant declined further comment.

Rudi Saarloos says it's difficult to operate a home business without high speed internet. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Rudi Saarloos, a project management consultant who lives off Rattenbury Road, said he often has to use his phone to send or receive files because his home internet is so terrible. 

"There's numerous businesses along this road people who work from home just like me and they all experience the same issues I have, so it's quite frustrating," said Saarloos.

Saarloos would like access to the same service the subdivision is getting. 

'Everybody in between gets nothing'

"Knowing that subdivison is getting it and I have no opportunity to get it, it's quite frustrating," he said. 

"They ran the cable from the Stanley Bridge corner to that subdivision directly, and everybody in between gets nothing."

Residents of the Granville on the Water subdivision will have a better internet service than many of their neighbours. (Laura Meader/CBC)

The Official Opposition says government should be doing more to ensure all Islanders have high enough internet speeds. 

"On Prince Edward Island, we have products and services that we want to sell to the rest of the world and our gateway to the world is the internet," said Trivers.

Province conducting speed tests

The province is now conducting speed tests, and says communities can make proposals for provincial and federal funding. Provincial officials also said government is trying to encourage more competition from providers.

A community meeting is set for May 8 at the Stanley Bridge Hall for residents in and around Rattenbury Road to talk about internet service. Various internet companies are being invited to attend.

Trivers hopes residents might be able to work out a proposal with another company to get better internet.

Meanwhile, Bell Aliant expects to complete its work in the North Granville subdivision in the next few months. 


Laura Meader is a video journalist for CBC P.E.I.