In July 2018, the province made Develop Nova Scotia, a Crown Corporation, responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to improve Internet access for Nova Scotians without reliable high-speed Internet. The Province also set aside $192 Million to invest in better Internet. Their goal is high-speed Internet reaching a minimum of 95% of Nova Scotians. Our Council recently received an update from staff on the progress being made on Develop Nova Scotia's work, and how MODL is working to ensure we receive funding for projects in our area.
Internet in the Municipality
Access to high-speed internet is of critical importance to the Municipality, and a key priority for our Council. Our citizens need reliable Internet access for educational purposes, for accessing government services, for operating businesses and for quality of life.
On June 26, 2018 Council approved the Municipal Internet Connectivity Strategy . This strategy will guide funding and project decisions related to Internet within the Municipality, and will see MODL invest up to $500,000 in Internet projects each year, together with provincial, federal and ISP partners.
Projects to Date
Council is pursuing multiple avenues for expanding internet service, with a total investment of $3,791,000 expected over the next two years, affecting up to 2,000 residents:
- Applied for and received $75,000 from the provincial government for a pilot project to construct a fixed wireless internet service in the Sweetland area. More than 80 residents are now connected to this tower, and we have gained a great deal of knowledge from this project.
- On May 11, the Federal Government announced an investment of approximately $1.48 million in the Municipality. The Government of Canada is helping the communities of Baker Settlement, Hemford, Hemford Forest, Petite Riviere, Feltzen South, Bayport and Kingsburg in Nova Scotia get online with new or improved high-speed Internet. The Municipality will invest up to $233,486 in internet infrastructure in the work being done in Baker Settlement, Hemford and Hemford Forest. The work being done in Petite Riviere, Feltzen South, Bayport and Kingsburg will be solely funded by the Government of Canada and EastLink.
- Project Update:
- Bakers Settlement - the permits are now in process. EastLink is targeting early Summer to launch.
- Hemford/Forest Drive - There is a significant amount of build for this particular project, therefore EastLink is targeting the end of Summer to launch.
- Project Update:
- Partnering with TNC Wireless and the Federal Government to bring a new uncapped fixed wireless Internet solution to the northern areas of the Municipality. The new service will see nine 40-metre tower sites in the communities of Newcombville, Chelsea, Elmwood, Union Square, Walden, Nineveh, North River, Parkdale and Butler Lake. The project is expected to take three years to complete, with between two and six towers being operational by the end of 2019. Of the $2.15 million total program cost, the Municipality is contributing up to $193,857, with the Federal Government and TNC Wireless Ltd. providing the rest of the investment. As the project progresses, TNC Wireless will post a coverage map and construction information on their website at http://www.tncwireless.ca/
- Two new Internet towers are coming to the Municipality that will provide fixed wireless internet services for Big Tancook Island, and for areas surrounding the Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Facility. This project, undertaken with partner ISP TNC Wireless, will see the construction of a 40-metre tower at the Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Centre and a 30-metre tower on Big Tancook. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. TNC offers uncapped packages with speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 25Mbps.
We have created a map to identify key internet infrastructure within the Municipality. 2017 Internet Map
Orange designates no high-speed internet
Blue designates Bell Fibre
Green designates Eastlink Fibre/coaxial
Internet Performance Test
Thank you to everyone who took the Internet Performance Test this fall. This data will be compiled to assist our funding applications to improve broadband internet.
Sweetland Pilot Project
Looking to sign up for the Sweetland project? Visit www.novascotiahighspeedinternet.com and click on the Sign Up button.
As part of the research undertaken for the development of the Municipality's Internet Strategy, we partnered with the Municipality of Chester and the Region of Queens to commission a report from iValley on the feasibility of an Internet solution. This report is now available , and has been reviewed by all Councils involved. We also reviewed the provincial government's middle and last mile strategies, lessons we learned from the Sweetland Pilot Project, and community engagement and presentations.
An Options Report was debated at the May 15 Policy & Strategy Committee meeting, and from that discussion, a final Internet Connectivity Strategy was developed and presented to Council on June 26, 2018.