By Laura Keil, Publisher/Editor
On paper we are a lot of things. In Valemount, we’re a quiet village of 1052 people. And we have access to “high-speed internet.”
We should be good, right?
There’s a disconnect between who we are on paper and who we are in reality, which makes it difficult to advocate for ourselves.
The reality, of course, is far different during this pandemic and pipeline construction reality. A business owner told me recently that they didn’t remove public wifi from their business because they want people off their phones, but rather because too much activity can jam their debit/credit machine. That’s if the internet is working at all. And when looking at upgrades, we’re faced with prices that would seem absolutely outrageous to people in the city. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe there’s not enough competition. In any case, getting lightning-fast internet is out of reach for most people and most businesses. And the strain of 1500 additional pipeline workers in town isn’t helping.
Telus has been trying to erect a new tower in Cedarside for two years now and, last we checked, they still don’t have a set date.
I discovered a diagram on Statistics Canada showing the remoteness index of every region of Canada. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Robson Valley is one of the remotest regions in B.C. and the southern half of Canada.
Surely, Telus can prioritize us, if not for our remoteness than for the fact our population has increased 200 per cent.