Basic high-speed internet lacking for Midland, Penetanguishene residents

More than 88 per cent of north Simcoe residents do not have access to basic high-speed internet, according to a recent broadband analysis.

A study of area broadband networks, conducted in part by the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation, shows that the majority of residents in the region are underserved when it comes to high-speed internet.

“The question is not whether you have high-speed internet, but whether you have appropriate high-speed internet that is at a speed and a level that meets the needs of the public,” said Rob McPhee, who led the analysis project.

In 2011 the CRTC said all Canadians should have access to minimum download speeds of five Mbps and upload speeds of one Mbps. In 2016 this standard changed and minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps are now required.

The report states that a total of 88 per cent of permanent residents, 70 per cent of seasonal residents and 94 per cent of commercial buildings in north Simcoe do not have internet that meets the latest CRTC standards. Of those, 22 per cent of permanent residents, 33 per cent of seasonal residents and 21 per cent of commercial buildings don’t have access to internet that meets 2011 standards, let alone the latest service standards.

“When you look at it nationally, communities in the North Simcoe region ranked between 113 and 167 out of 168,” said McPhee. “The north Simcoe region is in the bottom 25th percentile of high speed internet connectivity.”

Beausoleil First Nation ranks second last in all of Canada in regard to quality of high-speed internet, with 100 per cent of residents unable to access 2016 service standards and over 50 per cent receiving internet that fails to meet 2011 standards.

“Our aim with this report is to seek out infrastructure builds through SWIFT (Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Network),” said Chris McLaughlin, general manager of the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation. “We are going to be approaching them and trying to work with them to see if our region can be one of the first with some sort of project through the fund.”

New Midland business Twist Yarn offers classes and socials

For the first time in many years, local knitters and yarn crafters can save themselves a long drive for supplies with the opening of Twist Yarn Co. in Midland.

Opening on the weekend of Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival in June, owner Michelle DesRochers said the response has been “great.”

“People come in and say, ‘Thank God we have a yarn shop in town,’” she said.

DesRochers said she recently discovered crocheting and is now “addicted.”

A yarn social is held Tuesday nights. Classes and workshops will begin in the fall.

Twist Yarn sells yarns of all fibres as well as patterns, books and accessories.

Innisfil man injured after early morning rollover

An 18-year-old Innisfil man has been charged with careless driving after a report of a vehicle rollover on Aug. 8.

Officers responded to the single-vehicle accident at 6:30 a.m. on the 20th Sideroad between the 5th and 6th Line.

The driver had minor injuries and was checked by paramedics at the scene.