Xplornet withdraws services from Appleton area

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A number of residents of Appleton have had their internet service withdrawn due to the shutdown of Xplornet transmission towers. After months of poor internet service I was finally advised by Xplornet that they have discontinued transmission from their 4G LTE panels on towers in Carleton Place and Almonte. Xplornet technicians have advised me that none of their other services are reliable in my area and it is not certain that a new satellite service they are establishing will be available in this area.

Storm, the only other available internet provider in the Appleton area, transmits from a local relay station and advised me that I will require a 75 foot tower to receive signals. They estimate the cost of hook up at $750.00. DSL and cable are not available in Appleton.

As a result of a lack of investment by internet companies in transmission infrastructure, affordable internet is not available to me in Appleton, just 50 kilometers from the Parliament Buildings. Recently the CRTC ruled that access to affordable internet was an essential service for Canadians.

When contacting my Mississippi Mills councillor, I was told that the municipality has no strategy to support access to affordable internet in the community and that the County is responsible for this issue. In turn Lanark County divested its role to the Eastern Ontario Network.

I believe it is time our municipality’s Economic Development committee took an active role in this file. Poor internet service is an impediment to attracting businesses and residents who need work at home arrangements. Reliable and affordable internet most certainly has an impact on property values.

Robert Cretien
Appleton