Province Invests in Satellite Internet

Develop Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Lands, and Health Care Redevelopment are now Build Nova Scotia.

July 29, 2022 — Halifax, NS: The government is helping homes and businesses get internet where there is no access to wired or wireless solutions.

The Satellite Internet Service Rebate program announced today, July 29, will cover the one-time costs for eligible homes and businesses to set-up satellite internet, including hardware, taxes, shipping and installation, up to a maximum of $1,000. The rebate will be available to about 3,700 homes and businesses for which no other internet service solution has been found.

“As our province continues to grow, important infrastructure like reliable high-speed internet is critical to our success,” said Economic Development Minister Susan Corkum-Greek. “We want to foster growth and prosperity across Nova Scotia, and each new internet connection represents fewer barriers, faster business growth and more communities being able to connect.”

The government has invested $8.5 million in the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust for the program, as part of its commitment to extend internet to every household in Nova Scotia.

The program, led by Develop Nova Scotia, will open on Tuesday, August 2. Nova Scotians should confirm they are eligible for the rebate before purchasing satellite equipment. They can confirm their eligibility by visiting https://internet.buildns.ca/satellite and entering their home or business address.

Once eligibility has been confirmed and the satellite service and equipment has been purchased, applications can be submitted electronically or by mail by the customer.

Qualified satellite service providers for the program must meet or exceed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Committee minimum speed targets of 50 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload. Currently, only Starlink has indicated they can meet or exceed these speeds, but if other satellite providers can meet these speeds, they may also be included in the program.

Quotes:
“New connections are happening daily. Today, approximately 90 per cent of Nova Scotians have access to high-speed internet and projects are underway to reach greater than 99.5 per cent by 2023. This Satellite Internet Service Rebate means we’ll get even closer to 100 per cent coverage of homes and businesses across Nova Scotia, providing infrastructure that removes barriers and provides for delivery of important services and makes important connections for people across Nova Scotia.”
– Gordon Stevens, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Finance, Develop Nova Scotia

“The Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative has made great strides in delivering this access to more businesses and households than ever before, and we are excited to see this latest investment help bridge the gap for those in locations still experiencing challenges. I know this investment will have a significant impact in Cape Breton-Unama’ki, where many businesses have remained limited by a lack of a reliable internet service.”
– Tyler Mattheis, President and CEO, Cape Breton Partnership

Quick Facts:
— the Satellite Internet Service Rebate program is an important part of the Economic Development Minister’s mandate

— the Province’s investment in the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust is from the 2021-22 budget

— projects underway through the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative, combined with a municipal-led project, will see more than 99.5 per cent of Nova Scotia’s homes and businesses gain access to high-speed internet by the end of 2023

— the most feasible solution to achieve internet access for the remaining homes and businesses is through satellite internet, with the goal to reach as close to 100 per cent as possible
— legislation will be introduced in the fall to bring together Develop Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Lands to form Build Nova Scotia, which will maintain responsibility for the high-speed internet project

Additional Resources:
More information about the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative:
https://internet.buildns.ca

Mandate letter of the Minister of Economic Development:
https://novascotia.ca/exec_council/letters-2021/ministerial-mandate-letter-2021-ED.pdf