Seaside in the news
2010-07-03 -Chronicle Herald - Only a few missing links
Rural broadband project 97% complete, Seaside says
Sat. Jul 3, 2010
Seaside Communications reported Friday that its entire high-speed tower network in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton is operational, with just a few glitches in the wireless broadband service being handled on a case-by-case basis.
"The 200 towers we have in place enable us to cover the entire area we are supposed to service," communications director Parker Donham said in an interview.
He said Seaside is continuing to address some specific problems in a few hundred cases where an Internet link has yet to be achieved mostly due to signal holes or signal interference.
"We understand there are still some businesses and people coping with painfully slow dial-up service. We are addressing problems at these locations as quickly as possible," Donham said.
"With a project of this magnitude it was inevitable that a little bit of fine turning would be required."
Seaside is providing high-speed Internet to about 97 per cent of the previously unconnected addresses in Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and Cape Breton counties.
Donham said Seaside has technicians tending to a few hundred situations where connectivity has been affected by signal holes or signal interference.
Although the main tower network provides coverage throughout the service area, there are some cases were the connection is hampered by a tree, building or small hill.
"The technicians must get to these locations to provide a local solution," he said.
A solution can be a bit more complicated in cases of signal interference. Cumberland, Colchester and Pictou counties seem to be more prone to signal interference, where a signal is getting mixed in with one from another service provider.
In some cases engineers have to devise individual fixes for difficult to reach customers, Donham said.
"Bread and breakfast operators tell us one of the first things customers ask about is the availability of high-speed Internet. It is just about a necessity in that sector these days," he said.
Mary Jane Fumerton, a spokeswoman for Economic and Rural Development, said an audit of the entire rural high-speed project is underway.
"These are five-year contracts and the audit will be ongoing and will cover infrastructure and quality of service," she said.
Bragg Communications Inc. (EastLink) and Seaside Communications were awarded contracts to provide broadband service to about 200,000 addresses in 2007 and were granted extensions after failing to complete the work on schedule by the end of 2009.
EastLink reported they are dealing with some specific local technical challenges, but are connecting hundreds of new rural customers each week in Hants, Kings, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Queens, Digby and Lunenburg counties.
Fumerton said Economic and Rural Development has not made a decision about the Internet service providers being fined for missing the deadline.
"The immediate priority is to make broadband service available throughout the province."
Seaside High-Speed can be reached at:
Phone: 1 888 965 5511
Fax: 1 902 539 3224
c/o Customer Service
325 Vulcan Avenue
Sydney, Nova Scotia