LONG POINT: While his initial pitch to Inverness Municipal Council to provide reliable Internet service to county residents failed to garner municipal funding support, a local resident is continuing to experiment with smaller, short-term projects in the hopes of someday seeing everyone in the county receiving consistent high-speed service.
Earlier this year, Dan Fakkeldy spoke to municipal officials with the hope of supplying every house in Inverness County with 15 megahertz per second of Internet connectivity, which is the minimum definition of broadband permitted by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Fakkeldy’s proposal, designed to be rolled out on a region-by-region basis throughout the county, was sparked by 10 years’ worth of poor service in his community of Long Point, as well as an announcement by EastLink this past October that the company was planning to upgrade its service to the Inverness area.
“It was supposed to be done by April, and I haven’t seen any construction even started, so I started looking into it more,” Fakkeldy recalled.
“I work in the woods, so I see a lot of places with no cell service anywhere. With broadband, pretty much anyone with Seaside [high-speed] is unhappy with their service. I know a guy who lives half an hour from Port Hawkesbury, up Highway 4, and he has terrible Internet service himself.”
Encouraged by Inverness-area councillor Jim Mustard to bring his pitch to the council table, Fakkeldy was subsequently disappointed when, in his words, the majority of Inverness County officials hearing his proposal did not seem to have “any interest in pursuing broadband” or directing municipal funds to such efforts.
While he is “baffled” by this development, Fakkeldy is now embarking on a small-scale experiment as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for some friends of his in Port Hawkesbury.
“I am starting by installing an antenna on a roof on Prince Street, sharing the great FibreOp service that Bell [Aliant] offers, sending that signal to a house on the top of Crandall Road – they have bad Internet service there – and from there the signal will be sent to three properties on Highway 4,” Fakkeldy explained.
“The four properties will pay the entire bill of the one property on Prince Street, the property on Prince Street will never notice that they are sharing with four other customers, and those customers will have service magnitudes better than what is currently offered. Equipment for the four properties should be about $6,000, or $1,500 each.”
In the meantime, Fakkeldy is refusing to give up on his plan to have Inverness County entirely connected to the Web.
“I have not received a single negative review of my presentation, and so many positive ones,” he declared. “Everybody seems to think I should continue to try. I have a meeting next week about starting a co-op.”
Fakkeldy’s internet proposal for Inverness County is available as a YouTube video at the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtrE2wnTodA&feature=youtu.be. More details for his plans are available at the Web site: www.cbnet.ca. Fakkeldy himself can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.