Develop Nova Scotia is the Crown Corporation responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to provide high-speed Internet access to unserved and underserved Nova Scotians. The Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative strategy will see high-speed Internet access available to more than 95% and as close to 100% of Nova Scotian homes and businesses as possible.
Improving rural Internet service is a priority. Having a strong internet network will help our province build places where businesses and people flourish. In 2018, the government placed $193 million in an Internet funding trust to help connect more communities, homes and businesses across the[...]
Improving rural Internet service is a priority. Having a strong internet network will help our province build places where businesses and people flourish. In 2018, the government placed $193 million in an Internet funding trust to help connect more communities, homes and businesses across the province, one of the largest per-capita investments in Internet made by a province. In July, 2018, Develop Nova Scotia became the Crown Corporation responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to bring reliable, high-speed Internet to rural Nova Scotia.
We created the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative to find solutions. In December, 2018, we announced a call to organizations interested in providing Internet services in Nova Scotia to pre-qualify to bid on projects across the province. Ten pre-qualified organizations were announced in the spring of 2019. Request for Proposals for projects that could provide connections commencing in 2020 was issued in May, 2019, and closed in June, 2019. We evaluated project proposals and negotiated agreements with selected proponents. First round projects were announced in February 2020 and information was provided on this website, social media, in the provincial media, and during community events across the province.
An additional 5 pre-qualified organizations were announced in late fall of 2019. They join the 10 previously selected and all will be able to respond to any future RFP’s.
A further call for bids looking for solutions for longer-term projects issued after the first round of projects were announced. This RFP closed June 5, 2020 and projects will start to be announced late summer 2020.
All projects approved for funding by the arms-length Nova Scotia Internet Trust Fund will provide at least minimum 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). This will be delivered through a variety of technologies, including fibre/coaxial, signal off tower, or satellite. With our minimum speeds you’ll be able to stream music, download large files, stream high-speed definition video, do video calls, and play online games. Projects that aren’t able to achieve these minimums are not recommended to the Trust for funding.
We all know that reliable high speed Internet is important – for access to services like health and education, for business, and for people to connect to the world and with each other. COVID -19 has only underlined the urgency of making these connections and improving this service as soon as possible.
We’re working with our Internet Service Providers and together looking at projects with an aim to go faster. There are some acceleration efforts happening for first round projects thanks to additional provincial investment of $15M and we will continue to look at options.
We are looking at all projects to work to eliminate red tape, speed-up regulatory approvals and ensure better coordination among all of the people working to bring service to your door. We continue to work with them to ease congestion on existing services to enhance the quality of Internet connections, where possible. This will help Nova Scotians working differently and from home during COVID-19, while still staying connected to friends and family.
Did You Know?
The Federal government’s Internet Code protects Canadians who subscribe to Internet services.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) created the code so that customers of Internet services are better informed of their rights and responsibilities contained in their contracts with service providers. This includes easy to understand contracts, clearer information about prices, bill shock protection and greater flexibility.
Read more here.