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Axia seeking support for fibre optics

Posted on March 31, 2016 by Vauxhall Advance

Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance

For those wanting fibre optic Internet in Vauxhall, the Vauxhall Business Society is urging you to sign up.

Last November, Axia had approached Vauxhall, saying they were interested in installing their fibre optic network in the town. They then offered a deal: if 30 per cent of Vauxhall households logged onto and filled out a form, indicating that they did want the service, by the end of the year, Axia would then install their network for free.

Vauxhall Business Society quickly threw their support behind the project, arguing that having high speed Internet is a crucial and necessary service in the 21st century, and would help lure more business to the area.

Vauxhall Mayor Margaret Plumtree has also said that increased Internet speeds could mean a higher quality of life, citing the town of Olds, Atla, who had installed their own fibre optic network, as an example.

But Vauxhall had not reached the 30 per cent threshold at the end of 2015. Axia has said that they would still install the network in communities that had not reached the 30 per cent, but it would be at a cost to the community. VBS has not given up on reaching 30 per cent, and are brain storming ways to get their fellow Vauxhallites to hit that button.

In the minutes of their Feb. 17 meeting, reviewed during the regular March 21 Vauxhall council meeting, the society had suggested perhaps a prize draw might entice people to sign up for potentially receiving the service.

They would get a confirmation letter from Axia, and they could then take the letter and enter it into a draw to will VBS bucks.

Marilyn Forchuk, Vauxhall councillor, sits on the board of the VBS society, was asked to ask town council if they would be interested in partnering with them on this.

However, others councilors were a little bit wary with the idea.

“It would seem like if Axia were to see that Vauxhall were at 30 per cent, and then, ‘Oh, they had a contest offering cash prizes to sign up’. It might, you know, bring into legitimacy the 30 per cent,” said Richard Phillips, Vauxhall councillor.

“The town could, however, choose to be more active in publicizing it, you know, to keep it, say, in the forefront of people’s minds a little more. But I’m not sure offering cash prizes to sign up for something is the way to go.”

“If you want to sign up, right now, it’s just an interest thing, it doesn’t bind you to it,” said Plumtree. “So, very good point.”

Vauxhall council did not make a decision on it yet, as they had to discuss it further with VBS, but accepted the request for information.

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