High speed internet coming to Masham?

 

January 15, 2020

 

By Hollie Davies 

 

La Pêche council kicked off the new year by considering a wireless internet access point with Digicom that would be set up on the bell tower of the Paroisse Ste Cécile de Masham in Masham. 

Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux confirmed at the January 13 meeting that the municipality has received a proposal from Digicom, a wireless internet provider that services Quebec using microwave internet technology, to establish this wireless access point. The access point will reach 530 lots, of which 210 lots presently have no access to high speed internet. 

Lamoureux said at council, “These 210 lots don’t even have access through their telephone provider. They don’t have a digital subscriber line even,” which is a technology that transports high-bandwidth data over a simple telephone line directly connected to a modem.

He went on to say that this access point would provide internet service that is above CRTC requirements and that this service also could serve institutions and businesses in Masham. 

“The [current] providers [who] serve [the area] have not shown any intent to improve service,” explained Lamoureux, which is why council is considering Digicom’s proposal. 

He also said that the church and the municipality will benefit from the financing that Digicom would provide on a monthly basis for using the bell tower. “Digicom will pay a monthly amount per client using the service, remitted to the municipality for the duration of the use of the bell tower.” 

According to Lamoureux, the municipality is also in agreement with the Commission scolaire des portages de l’Outaouais to acquire some of their fibre optics, which will provide internet that far surpasses other technologies in terms of speed and reliability. The disposal of two school board buildings, which have fibre optics, will provide surplus fibre optics for sale. “So we’ve started moving ahead on this and will be providing further information.” 

The rest of La Pêche’s first meeting of the year was short and sweet, with only two citizens out of the ten present addressing council during question period. 

This included modification of the bylaw that has allowed the potential erection of a gas station in Wakefield village across from Wakefield Elementary School. 

“We’re having to accept that there’s going to be a gas station near a school,” says Lamoureux. “Our bylaw could not prevent it … we realized eventually some siting requirements were taken out of the bylaws when the special planning program for Wakefield was adopted [in the early aughts]. Now we’re modifying them to be able to remove those uses and certain types of structures from zoning bylaw.”

Also on the agenda was the adoption of the motion for a bylaw regarding the addition of two new tariffs – fire safety, which includes the fire department, and public safety, which includes the services of the police, 911 and fire prevention department – which will have residents seeing two new lines on their tax bills included in the 2020 budget. 

In other business, council announced that Pamela Ross will be replacing Claude Giroux on the Centre Wakefield La Pêche’s board of directors.