| Oct 29, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - October 29, 2009 Satellite Only for Arden &Mountain GroveBy Jeff Green

Barrett Xplore, which won a contract from Frontenac County to bring wireless high speed internet to service gap areas in Central and South Frontenac, will only be erecting one tower in Central Frontenac, at the southern tip of the township.

Barrett originally planned to erect towers in Crow Lake, Parham, and Arden, as well as a repeater tower in Mountain Grove, but those plans have all been cancelled. Instead, Barrett will be constructing nine towers to the south, and offering a discount on satellite service to the 830 households in the K0H 1B0 postal region (Mountain Grove and Arden).

Frontenac County received an $800,000 OMAFRA grant to entice companies into bringing wireless Internet to the townships, and the money will go to Barrett Xplore to cover half of their capital costs for the project.

According to Maureen O’Higgins of the consulting firm Actionable Intelligence, which has been managing the project for the county, the Parham and Crow Lake towers ended up being redundant “because North Frontenac Telephone Company is already providing service to those areas”.

“For the Arden tower the design of the network provided that the signal would go from McAdoo Lane in Kinston to Parham to Mountain Grove to Arden. Without Parham customers, we could no longer bring the signal up to Arden, affordably.” She said.

“When did you find out that Parham was already served by North Frontenac Telephone?” asked Deputy Mayor Gary Smith.

“This summer” O’Higgins said,

Barrett Xplore is still fulfilling its contract, O’Higgins said, by putting the extra towers in South Frontenac and Wolfe Island. “Let’s just say it is fulfilled. It is well fulfilled,” she said.

Barrett is also offering their satellite service at a deeply discounted rate in place of wireless service, “without any grant support” O’Higgins added.

The offer, which will be available starting in the third week of November and will remain on offer for six months, will provide a service package that normally costs $125 per month for $49, as long as the customer signs on for three years.

“The download speeds are comparable to the service from the towers,” said Jason Tremblay from Barrett Xplore, “although upload speeds are slower. But the service will be more widely available than wireless was going to be.”

The service will cover Kennebec Lake, which was outside of the range of the tower that was originally proposed. 

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.