Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative: More Scope Expansion Projects Announced
Connection matters. Delivering Internet for Nova Scotians is a priority and we’re making good progress.
Access to reliable, high-speed internet across the province gives Nova Scotians options in choosing where to live and work and helps attract those who can work remotely to our province.
That is why Develop Nova Scotia continues to advance projects that extend internet networks and service through government’s investment in the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust.
Today, January 25, we announced more expansions to existing contracts for Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative projects. These expansions provide access to high-speed internet connections to an additional 5,600 homes and businesses, extending coverage to 99 per cent of Nova Scotia.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the critical importance of access to reliable, high-speed internet for business, education and pleasure,” said Minister of Business Geoff MacLellan. “Across the province, people are working from home, students are learning from home and our small businesses are moving to increase their online presence. These changes have fundamentally changed the way our society operates. Equitable access to Internet is more important than it’s ever been.”
Projects associated with the expansions are in Zones 1 (Western Nova Scotia), Zone 3 (Annapolis/Hants), and Zone 4 (South Shore). By expanding existing projects, Develop Nova Scotia continues to accelerate timelines for these homes and businesses to be connected. The trust is investing $29 million in these contract extension projects, with leveraged funds of $8 million from other levels of government and the private sector.
These contracts are with pre-qualified internet service providers Mainland Telecom, Bell Canada and Cross Country Communications and will provide small communities across the province with high-speed internet, at speeds higher than Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) targets.
Preparatory and engineering work will begin immediately on the contract extensions, and it is expected all homes and businesses covered by these extensions will have access to improved network by the end of or before 2023. Timelines for access to connections will vary by community and will be further refined by providers within the next several months.
— since the first Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative projects were announced in February 2020, approximately 31,000 of a total of 87,200 homes and businesses already have the network in place to provide new or improved high-speed internet, and providers are working to connect the rest as quickly as possible
— work will continue with internet providers in an effort to reach as close to 100 per cent of homes and businesses as possible
— the total investment to date of $163 million by the province through the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust has leveraged $137 million of additional funding, of which $118 million is from the private sector
— all projects approved to date for funding by the trust provide at least target speeds required by the CRTC (50 Mbps down/10 Mbps up for wired, 25 Mbps down/5 Mbps up for wireless, with a demonstrated plan to reach 50 Mbps)
To read more on the announcement, including a backgrounder with a breakdown of communities, partners, and access to connection numbers visit click here