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Friday, November 25, 2011

Slow Internet Hurts City

Owen Sound | by Ross Kentner  

Merchants complain about slow internet, business moving away from Owen Sound.

Owen Sound is losing business due to slow internet service.

That was the response from merchants at an economic forum held Friday by the City and the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce.

Manager of Community Development Steve Furness says a recent business retention survey showed a majority of merchants are satisfied with internet service.

But a number of business owners at the meeting described how one's location and weather conditions affect internet service around the City.

Tom Bovingdon of Infinity Network Solutions says his Hanover customers get 100 megabit service for about the same cost as 7 megabit service in Owen Sound.

The City also heard that Owen Sound is losing business to Hanover, Kincardine and other small centres because their e-business environments are vastly superior.

Furness says the purpose of the meeting was to determine where the problems are.

Representatives of Bell, Telus, BMTS, Wightman and Xplornet Communications also spoke to service issues in the region.

They have agreed to sit on a new task force with the City, the Chamber and Grey Bruce Counties to lobby for an infrastructure project to boost internet service.

Those in attendance heard from an Engineer with the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation who described how a similar Eastern Ontario project received 100 million dollars from senior governments.

Municipalities in that region kicked in 10 million dollars.

Cliff Bilyea facilitated Friday's meeting and says the goal is to accomplish in 25 months what could otherwise take 25 years.


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