Life on the Lake
Here are some bits of helpful information for life on and around Pike Lake. Let us know if you see any info online that your Pike Lake neighbours might be interested in seeing.
Cell Phone and Internet Service Coverage
April 2022 Update
Last year many people responded to the questionnaire about cell phone/internet service to assist in the quest for better service at the lake.
The most recent update was received yesterday in the EORN Newsletter - excerpts below:
The EORN Cell Gap Project aims to dramatically improve cell phone coverage and capacity in the areas of eastern Ontario where people live, work and travel on major roadways. Valued at more than $300 million, the project will involve construction of approximately 265 new telecommunications towers and the upgrade of more than 300 existing sites. Upgrading of the existing sites is now underway and as of March 14, 2022, 140 towers have been upgraded. Construction of six new towers has also commenced. Work is to be completed by 2025, with new services activated as groups of towers are completed. About half the project funding comes from the federal and provincial governments, as well as municipal members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens' Caucus (EOWC) and most of the Eastern Ontario Mayors' Caucus (EOMC). The balance is investment by Rogers Communications, which was selected through a competitive bidding process.
Land use authority (LUA)
All new cell telecommunications towers need to go through a land use authority (LUA) process, which is set by the federal government, and managed by municipalities. Telecommunications service providers (TSPs) contact the municipality to start the LUA process once they have found a site location for a proposed new tower and often after they have signed a lease with the property owner. In the case of the EORN Cell Gap Project, Rogers Communications will initiate the process with municipal governments. Federally, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) sets out the parameters of the LUA process, including public consultation requirements. Municipalities can add their own requirements by developing their own tower siting protocol. EORN has developed a Tower Siting Resource Guide (10 MB/PDF) to assist municipalities in this process.
March 2021 Update
Eastern Ontario Regional Network Awards Contract for Cell Expansion to Rogers Communications
(March 19, 2021 – EASTERN ON) – Strong and reliable cellular services are critical to help rural communities take part in the economy, create jobs and improve public safety. Together, Canada, Ontario and municipal governments across Eastern Ontario are supporting the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s Cell Gap Project that will improve both the reach and quality of cellular services throughout the region.
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, joined Warden J. Murray Jones, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network, Warden Debbie Robinson, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Mayor Diane Therrien, Chair of the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus to announce that Rogers Communications has been awarded the contract to improve the coverage and capacity of cell networks in the region.
Rogers Communications’ investment brings the total value of the public-private partnership to more than $300 million. This includes investments from the federal and provincial governments who each contributed $71 million and an additional $10 million from the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and most municipalities within the Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus.
Rogers Communications was selected through a competitive bidding process to identify a telecommunication partner who offered both the expertise and best value for expanded cell coverage.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has designated both mobile and fixed broadband as basic services for all Canadians. The project is designed to improve cell coverage across the area where people live, work and travel. It aims to provide:
99 per cent of the area with voice calling services.
At least 95 per cent of the area with standard-definition (SD) level services, such as video-app calls, basic app usage and streaming of SD video.
At least 85 per cent of the area with service levels that can support streaming high-definition video and more data-intensive apps.
Additional investments will increase capacity of networks in high density, high usage areas.
To better serve rural Eastern Ontario, an area of some 50,000 square kilometres, the project will involve construction of more than 300 new telecommunication sites and will upgrade more than 300 existing sites over the next four to five years. Upgrades and construction will begin as early as this spring. Powered by Ericsson, Rogers brings the latest generation in 5G wireless network technology, which over time will deliver unprecedented speed, instant response times, and fast, reliable connections that transform how people live and work. New services will be activated as groups of towers are built or upgraded. The project is to be completed in 2025.
December 2020 Update
Below please find the most recent information regarding cellular and internet service in the Pike Lake area.
At a December 2nd Tay Valley Township meeting, Kurt Greaves, Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Lanark, updated councillors on efforts underway to improve, over the next few years, cell and Internet service across eastern Ontario. On the cell front, a $213 million project championed by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) will see construction begin next year to bring inaugural or better cell service, over 2021-2025, to 99% of residences, businesses, and arterial roads throughout the region.
On the Internet front, EORN aspires "to bring fibre [optic] service to every home in Eastern Ontario." This could be a $1.2 to $1.6 billion investment requiring contributions from federal, provincial, and municipal governments. As explained last week by Mr. Greaves, the County of Lanark is proposing specific municipality by municipality projects cost-shared 17% by the County, 17% by the given municipality, 17% by customers to benefit from the service, and 50% by the company (i.e., the Internet Service Provider) eventually chosen to undertake the project.
The PLCA will keep you updated as further information becomes available.
Spring 2020 Cell Phone & Internet Service Coverage Survey
In an effort to identify gaps in cellular phone and internet service coverage in and around Pike Lake, the Pike Lake Community Association sent an on-line survey to 130 members of the Pike Lake community who are on the PLCA email distribution list. Survey participants were asked to answer 10 questions related to the level of cellular phone and internet service coverage at their lake property.
You can read the Executive Summary of the survey and see maps of the coverage by clicking on the following three documents:
Important Info For Seasonal Cottagers Regarding Hydro One
Upcoming Classification Changes and Significant Rate Increases
November 10, 2021 Update
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has made a decision on implementing the elimination of the Hydro One Season Rate Class. You can find an article from the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association regarding the decision here:
An explanation of the proposed changes to Hydro One Classification and the effect on Cottagers can be found in Cottage Life Magazine which you can link to by clicking here.
The following information was provided to the Pike Lake Community Association President, Naomi Fowlie, by the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA):
Advocacy & Policy Updates
Fair Electricity Pricing
Hydro One Networks has written to all 147,649 seasonal class electricity customers to explain how they will be moved to one of the three residential density-based classes. The notice includes Hydro One's estimate of your average monthly electricity use over the past 12 months, in kWh, so you can compare your new estimated rate at the same consumption level.
It is the approximately 78,000 seasonal customers moving to the Low Density (R2) class that will see the largest bill impacts, with total bill increases of up to 100%. The seasonal rate class may be eliminated as early as January 1, 2022.
ACTION ITEMS FOR COTTAGERS:
1. Check your notice, and if you think your classification is incorrect, call the Hydro One Networks Customer Service line: 1-888-664-9376. Areas with 100 or more customers, and at least 15 customers for every kilometer of power line used to supply energy to the zone, are intended to become "Medium Density" but FOCA has already heard of cases where the designation on the Notice was incorrect.
2. Contact your MPP
Although the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is an independent public agency, FOCA encourages everyone to contact their Ontario Member of Parliament to provide first-hand feedback to our politicians about the negative impact of this change on your household budget. More than 1,200 actions have already been undertaken by you and your fellow waterfront property owners, including:
emailing the MPP of your seasonal property
calling the MPP of your seasonal property (speaking notes provided)
emailing the MPP of your permanent residence.
It only takes a moment to input your address and use the online software to automatically find your MPP. We have provided a template message to make it quick and easy. (Pro tip: customize the subject line and first paragraphs to ensure your message gets read!)
Join over 1,200 other concerned citizens and take action, here:
FOCA continues to post background on the subject, here: Electricity webpage.
Watch your Wake
Here are some excerpts from a paper written by a Pike Laker on the impact of boat wake. As the paper noted, we may not all be as familiar with the impact of boat wake as with the rules of water safety and responsible boating. You can read the complete paper here.
Impact of Boat Wake
The larger the wake, the greater the potential for undesirable side effects.
Wake can drown the nests and young of Loons, & other birds.
Inexperienced swimmers & young children can be toppled by the size & energy of boat wake.
Boat wake & prop wash can churn up sediments in shallow water which releases dormant nutrients that promote weed growth & algal blooms.
Boat wake can cause erosion, particularly in Grants Creek.
Boat wake can cause docks & moored boats to rock severely.
How You Can be Wake Wise
Be aware of the size of your wake during displacement, transition & planing speeds.
Position your passengers through-out the boat in order to reduce the time spent in transition speed .
Look behind you to see & understand the impact of your wake on shorelines, docks or other structures. Adjust your speed & direction to minimize the impact.
Respect the shoreline zone. Reduce your speed to less than 10 km/h within 30 metres of any shore including the narrow channels between the islands & in Grants Creek.
Water-ski, tube, & wake-board well away from all shorelines. Try to make use of the entire length of the lake.
Consider the size of the wake produced when purchasing a new boat for Pike Lake.