SEGUIN TWP. – Internet availability will be staying the same as it ever was in Rosseau.
At last Monday’s meeting, council defeated a motion that would provide the funds to create a wifi hotspot in Rosseau. If approved, the plan would have made wifi services easily available to visitors of the area.
Several councilors felt the proposal didn’t address key questions they had about the service.
Specifically, they wanted to know how much it would cost users, why tourists would want to make use of the service and how would success and failure of the project be measured.
The township would have been working with a Mississauga company called DRMTek/Torch Network. They had put the cost of the hotspot to the township at $7,593.60, which would have included installation, service and the hardware.
David Conn, mayor of Seguin Township, said he didn’t want to support the proposal for several fundamental reasons.
“We’re not in the communication’s business. We’re here to facilitate it, but we’re not here to provide the service,” said Conn. “$7,600 is not a lot of money, but there’s a principle there. If you put it into Rosseau, you’ve got to be prepared to put it into Foley.”
One of Conn’s major reason’s for opposition to the proposal was that a business plan was not provided that would give them an idea of what success or failure of the project would look like.
“Have we not got the cart before the horse here? We’re saying, first of all, let’s spend the capital and then he’ll give us a business plan. This is a one-year trial, is what the resolution asks for, and nobody has told us what we’re going to measure. How do we know if we win and how do we know if we lose?” Conn said.
The aim of the initiative was to promote businesses in the region by developing access to communication services.
Dave Thompson, fire chief for Seguin Township, said the idea was to use the service primarily as an economic development tool, not as a way of providing free wifi to everyone in town.
“The business concept is as tourists come into the area they will be able to latch onto the wifi hotspot and a splash page is presented to them which identifies the community and the things to do in that community,” said Thompson.
In the end, the motion was defeated.