The other day, I tried to download eleven email messages. It took five and a half hours from 8 ish on Sunday evening till one on Monday morning. It would time out on the first message (which was sizable / 22 MB). We have ‘rural high-speed’ satellite service which means that on good days we can expect almost 3 MBPS for uploads and half that for downloads. On Sunday night it was only 7 KPS download. No small wonder it timed out.

At 1:00 am, all eleven emails finally downloaded in 7 or 8 minutes which was fabulous. Zoom or Skype meetings are awful as no one can hear me when I try to participate. Online courses or internet searches are best done in the middle of the night!!! Software updates are an exercise in futility.

As Jesse Hirsh remarked in his recent posting, we do need a solution. I am not hopeful that even if money were available that our municipality or the various internet service providers have the resources to solve this problem in the immediate future.

There are only so many problems we, as a society, can solve at any one time and COVID-19 and its economic fallout to our community is higher on my personal priority list as I am sure it is for many other people. However, that being said, I need a safe way to access the internet. Sitting in my car outside a public-broadcast internet service, such as the Library or Equator Coffee, is not ideal.

As this is a long-term problem, I foresee that I will experience black flies, scorching temperatures and freezing cold over the summer, fall and winter. And so will many others who try to use this type of solution. Families won’t be able to educate their children, small business will not be able to service their clients, etc., etc., etc.

Suggestion:

The town of Almonte has high-speed access. The Municipality has high-speed public service. Is it possible for the Municipality to extend their service to our “large indoor spaces” and set up distantly spaced tables with one chair so that rural users with laptops can have access to higher speeds. The Community Arena is spacious as is the Civitan Centre and both are not being used. There will be a cleaning cost and if the town budget can’t cope with this added expense, I wouldn’t mind making a small contribution so I can sleep at night.

I am interested in hearing if other people have suggestions. Maybe, together, we can solve this problem. I am not-far-away from the fibre line laid to Clayton in 2019, 7 minutes from Almonte, and only 25 minutes from the Nation’s capital… We (and I) need an interim solution.

Laurette Lafleur, Resident of Ramsay Township