Survey identifies significant gaps in broadband coverage

A survey of six Lacombe County townships shows they don’t meet the grade for wireless Internet and cellphone coverage.

A survey of six Lacombe County townships shows they don’t meet the grade for wireless Internet and cellphone coverage.

Consultants were hired to undertake the study of townships in the southeast side of the county between Blackfalds and Alix in response to resident complaints about their service.

The county had applied previously for funding to upgrade broadband service but were told by federal and provincial officials the municipality was considered to have full coverage.

A review by Edmonton-based ViTel Consulting Inc. shows significant gaps in both cellphone and broadband Internet coverage.

Emergency Services communications were fine because they use radio transmissions, council was told.

Consultants recommended that the county build its own network of towers and lease tower space to wireless providers.

However, going that route would require significant expense and leave the county responsible for ongoing maintenance, said county commissioner Terry Hager.

Another option would be to select a single wireless provider to design, build and operate a wireless network to reach all residents. Finding a provider could prove difficult though depending on the business case that could be made.

Coun. Rod McDermand said other counties have taken on the job of providing broadband coverage and Lacombe County should follow suit after years of talking about it.

“I think it’s the time of day to do something about it,” he said “I think there’s a ton of towers out there. I think it’s just a matter of making some agreements and getting it done.”

Not having proper cellphone and Internet service turns residents into “second-class citizens,” he said.

Coun. Ken Wigmore suggested the county needs to get a better picture of how many residents are without service who need it before going any further.

“It doesn’t make sense to build a $350,000 (wireless) tower if there are three people to hook on to it.”

Council agreed to survey residents to find out how many are affected by poor service. The county will also send letters to the premier, Service Alberta and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development pointing out service deficiencies and what options there are to improve them.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Concern growing over poor hay crops

Hay yields in some areas half of what it was last year

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have… Continue reading

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month