NOTE: A list of the municipalities and groups receiving funding by region is at the end of this release.
People in communities across rural Nova Scotia will begin to see improved access to high-speed internet as early as this summer.
Government announced $1.44 million today, March 27, for 22 municipal and community high-speed internet projects. The projects have the potential to add or improve service for up to 5,400 homes and up to 420 businesses and local facilities such as business hubs or parks, community centres, fire halls and emergency shelters.
“Connection to high-speed internet enhances quality of life, access to essential services, and helps businesses to innovate and compete in today’s global digital economy,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “These projects will help many Nova Scotians get better service within months, while we continue to invest and work with partners in federal and municipal governments, community groups and internet service providers on broader, long-term solutions.”
One example of the program’s impact is the $75,000 for the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg to erect two towers that will improve service for up to 288 homes in the Sweetland area. The project will provide internet speeds of up to 15 megabits per second, ten times faster than the current levels of 1.5 megabits per second or no service at all. It will also provide public Wi-Fi at a community centre or fire hall. The municipality is contributing $58,500. Service is expected to begin in August.
“High-speed internet is vital for maintaining strong, vibrant rural communities,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, mayor of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg. “Our children need it to do their homework; businesses need it to operate; and families need it to effectively communicate on a day-to-day basis. High-speed internet will create an environment where families choose to live.”
The funding is part of Municipal and Community Rural High-Speed Internet Funding Program which launched in November 2016. The projects are smaller scale projects, most serving multiple communities and expected to be completed within six months. They include a range of technologies and speeds, and some will serve as pilots that could lead to innovative solutions that can be applied in other regions of the province.
A summary of projects is available online at novascotia.ca/business/internet.