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Poor internet service makes Cape Breton businessman think about changing


Bad internet service is prompting a small business owner in Cape Breton to reconsider his future on the island.

Sara Rankin runs a graphic and web design company in Mabou.

She signed up for the high speed internet but says it is not working properly. The company changed the modem a few times, but she said the situation was no better.

Rankin said his business depends on a high speed connection.

& # 39; Incredibly frustrating & # 39;

"It affects me personally on a daily basis," Rankin said.

Rankin works in design and that means large files. "It's incredibly frustrating for me when I can't upload, download [and] open emails ".

She said Skype calls with customers in Boston and Toronto are interrupted and it is difficult to make them understand why.

Rankin said he is considering moving to mainland Nova Scotia if something is not done next year.

"I love living in Cape Breton, but unfortunately this is getting me to the point where I have to consider lifestyle work."

Inverness Director Betty Ann MacQuarrie says many county residents are frustrated with poor or no internet service. (Inverness County)

Inverness County Director said Rankin's complaint is not isolated.

Betty Anne MacQuarrie said internet service is a problem across the country.

"We hear frustration from our residents, some who don't have internet," said MacQuarrie.

She said the board invited Bell to a future board meeting to discuss the situation.

She said the county is also talking about the internet with Develop Nova Scotia, the provincial Crown corporation responsible for developing a strategy to extend high-speed Internet access to underserved communities.

Rankin said he sometimes had to resort to extreme measures to complete his work. She said she attended her old school during the day to use the fiber optic connection.

"But in the summer, I sit on the floor behind my school because it was the only place I could get fiber optics to meet my deadline," Rankin said.

"So I was running my business behind my old school, which is kind of crazy, but you have to do what you need to meet your deadline."

Rankin said the Internet issue will prevent people from starting business on the island and may force some people to leave.

"So if we're promoting Cape Breton as a place to do business, that's something they need to fix."

In an email to CBC, Bell Aliant did not specifically comment on Rankin's complaint.

But spokeswoman Katie Hatfield said advanced broadband networks can be "quite expensive" and it can be difficult to make a business case for "sparsely populated places".

Hatfield said the company will monitor the county about the situation.


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