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B.C. town nearly loses Internet, mining company saves the day

The pint-sized town of just 500 citizens is located in Prince George-Mackenzie Province and there were worries because the selected replacement couldn’t meet the deadline before OneWayOut.net Society shuttered its doors, CTV News reports.

Then, fortunately, Brucejack mine and other companies in this northwest region stepped in to save the day, The Province notes.

Mike Morris, a member of the Prince George-Mackenzie legislature, said the mine has made space on its system and a new Internet service provider is expediting the installation of a new tower that’s coming from Terrace, B.C.

Stewart mayor Galina Durant said she was worried that weeks would pass before the town had Internet again. She noted the library was unable to function, and some stores weren’t able to operate normally.

Robert Chapman, director of Sienna Networks, told CBC News that his company will erect a temporary mobile tower within the community to reconnect businesses by Thursday.

As a bit of extra good news, the tower will provide free Wi-Fi to the community during the next month. In the coming spring the company plans to erect a permanent tower.

It’s been less than two months since he learned that the former Internet service provider was pulling out of the community, Chapman said, and that left them scrambling to put a new provider in place.

Last September, the B.C. government reported it planned to spend $10 million to bring high-speed Internet to remote locations in B.C., a service that the province has said is crucial and essential.

The provincial government said it hopes to provide high-speed Internet to everyone within the province by 2012.

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