MM2020 has proposed a hybrid model to deliver broadband service to all rural areas of Mississippi Mills. Lanark County and Mississippi Mills are being asked by MM2020 to make available a loan to a broadband service provider, to cover front-end infrastructure costs. Lanark County and Mississippi Mills are also being asked to approve the installation of fibre cable in the shoulder of local roads, instead of using poles. Both of these ideas are expected to generate new income for local government, while providing residents of rural Mississippi Mills the same basic service that our urban neighbors receive. Discussions are ongoing with Lanark County and Mississippi Mills about using the Clayton area as a pilot project.
MM2020 is also working with Bell Mobility to upgrade the tower at Union Hall to provide better cell phone service to the Clayton area. The feasibility of upgrading the tower had been confirmed and MM2020 expects to know in the next month or so how much the upgrade will cost and who will pay for it.
The MM2020 Clayton Working Group was also active in May.
Our Clayton survey results are compelling: more than 50% of the 600 homes in our study area have now completed the survey (439 respondents representing 303 households). The vast majority of residents we’ve heard from are not satisfied with their internet service or cell phone service. A surprising 38% of respondents telecommute and 28% have a home-based business. An impressive 86% would consider signing a contract with a broadband provider and almost as many would consider signing a contract with a cell phone provider for better cellular service.
We hosted a community BBQ at the Clayton Community Centre on May 31st with about 150 residents in attendance. Grant Street, a project manager with Storm, made a presentation about that company’s interest in delivering broadband to the Clayton area; one scenario presented by Storm would deliver broadband service to the Clayton area in 2018! Our thanks to local singer/ songwriter Anders Drerup for providing great entertainment and to Jamie Law from Law and Orders for delicious food. We also wish to thank the Municipality of Mississippi Mills, MM2020, the Clayton Community Centre Committee and the Union Hall Community Centre Committee for their support.