Column: Dec. 11, 2014

Carp Christmas Parade

The Huntley Community Association is holding their 6th Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 13. The parade will begin on Carp Road at noon at the Diefenbunker entrance, and will end back at the Diefenbunker. For further details, contact Annie Craig at 613-558-8286, annie@gadar.ca or Evelyn James at 613-839-5562, rejames@magma.ca.

Following the parade, bring your family for spy themed problem solving activities and crafts at the Diefenbunker from 2-4pm. Afterwards, enjoy hot chocolate while sitting down to study those classic spy skills demonstrated in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Free with admission.

The History of High Speed Internet in Ward 5

My office receives frequent inquiries regarding internet service. I’ve posted a document on my website (under the “Latest News” section) which provides a detailed history of internet service in the rural area beginning before amalgamation and going to 2012 and beyond. Below, I’ve highlighted a few main points.

In September 2006, City staff brought a report forward recommending a public-private partnership to complete broadband coverage in rural Ottawa, and authorizing staff to initiate a procurement process. A Request for Proposal was issued seeking proposals from broadband service providers. In early 2007, the City made an agreement with Barrett Xplore Inc. (Xplornet) to complete broadband coverage in rural Ottawa. This was a five-year contract which ended in June 2012.

Before entering into this contract, broadband internet services were virtually unavailable in most rural areas. At the end of the contract in 2012, there were well over 10,000 rural subscribers. The service we have now is far better than anything experienced beforehand – but I do recognize there are still some concerns with the level and/or speed of service.

Even though the City’s contract with Xplornet has ended, City staff have remained as the point-of-contact for rural customers. Staff are dedicated to continuing to help with inquiries and with working closely with Xplornet.

I remain conscientious when it comes to concerns relating to internet service. There are some that would like more towers and more service, while others would prefer to maintain our rural setting without cluttering the landscape. This is a delicate balance to achieve and is something we need to work on together moving forward.