Provincial Funding Brings High-Speed Internet to Rural Communities

August 2, 2017

Five communities in rural Halifax will soon see improvements in their internet service.

Rural map 2

On March 27, the Province of Nova Scotia announced a $1.44 million investment to improve internet service to communities that have struggled with low speeds or lack of access, specifically small, municipal and community high-speed internet projects. 

Within Halifax’s boundaries, five communities will receive more than $367,000 for the installation of new towers and the extension of fibre cables to increase speeds and reach: the Sheet Harbour area of Watt Section, the Spanish Ship Bay area, Harrigan Cove, Moser River, and the Central Nova section of Goffs-Devon. These projects will bring improved internet speeds to over 330 homes, many businesses, community halls, local warming centres, the Port of Sheet Harbour, and first responders. 



The push for solutions for rural broadband comes from last year’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announcement that broadband internet is now a basic telecommunications service. In 2015, the Province contracted EY to review the current state of internet services in rural Nova Scotia (read results of the study here). In 2016, Brightstar was hired to develop a province-wide long-term strategy specific to rural internet access.

Rural communities along the Eastern Shore and Central Nova cite access to reliable high-speed internet as a barrier to economic development. Internet service is essential to live, work and operate in our modern world. Barriers to internet mean barriers to services delivered, including health care and education. 

The Halifax Partnership has identified this issue as a systemic economic challenge and has participated in the initiative since July 2015. The Eastern Shore will look to complete a larger strategy specific to the area to complement the province-wide strategy. This funding is one piece of the province-wide rural high-speed internet strategy. 

In December 2016, the federal government, through Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, announced it would also be taking part in the Connect to Innovate program

For more, read the Rural Halifax Analysis in the2017 Halifax Index.