Service Providers and Municipal Officials at the Same Table
On Thursday, September 8, five of the largest cellular service providers in Quebec and representatives of the provincial MNAs and the four RCMs in the riding accepted an invitation to sit down with Bernard Généreux, Member of Parliament for Montmagny–L’Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup. The purpose of the meeting was to present some potential solutions that had been examined by two Canadian agencies and groups and to continue the fight being led by the Comité pour un service cellulaire équitable de l’Islet.
Working together to be heard
In his brief submitted to the CRTC hearings on April 20, the MP pointed out that there is a flagrant problem with cellular coverage in the riding. “Service is not secure because it is not considered to be essential,” Mr. Généreux claimed. This is a huge problem for private citizens and entrepreneurs. In the absence of adequate financial support from the government, however, telecommunication companies that venture into this market say they are unable to recoup their investment given the low number of potential clients and the fact that those clients are scattered over a vast territory.
A meeting was held in Montmagny on September 8 to facilitate the exchange of information among stakeholders. Aide-Tic (Agence Interrégionale de développement des technologies de l’information et des communications) and EORN (Eastern Ontario Regional Network) shared their experiences in Saguenay and Ontario respectively with the elected officials and telecommunications companies. “We agreed that we should all be working together. No one can claim to have THE solution. Also, all prospective funding should be directed toward infrastructure in order to minimize service costs for users,” Bernard Généreux commented.
The MP is pleased that discussions have begun, and intends to pursue his efforts with various departments, including Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, which should soon be announcing a program relating to the digital economy.