Thank you to the Federal Government's Universal Broadband Fund, which contributed up to $31 million to the Municipality of Pictou County's Rural Broadband Project.
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser made the announcement today (Dec. 19th) at Fossil Farms in Merigomish on behalf of Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development.
The funding will bring high-speed internet access to more than 4700 homes in rural communities across Nova Scotia.
"High-speed internet is essential to the well-being of communities," said Minister Fraser. Connectivity is an economic issue for local residents and businesses and a public safety issue for first responders, and it allows rural communities to thrive in the 21st century. Today's announcement will ensure Pictou County has the tools to succeed for the next generation."
The MOPC's Rural Broadband Project includes both wireless and fibre components.
" Our municipally owned and operated high-speed network will provide rural residents with quality internet and make this community a leader in future growth for all sectors of business, health care, education, tourism and recreation," said MOPC Warden Robert Parker. "The recent weather events in the Maritimes have also proven that our network needs to play a critical role in keeping residents connected to emergency services in case of future weather events that are a direct result of climate change. Thank you to the federal government for supporting our project, which will keep our rural community connected, not only to each other but also to the rest of the world."
The MOPC is putting fibre on the poles and leasing it to internet service providers who will provide residents with high-speed internet. There are currently three service providers with the MOPC project, Purple Cow, NCS (Nova Scotia High-Speed Internet) and TNC Wireless.
The MOPC will generate revenue by leasing its infrastructure to internet service providers and that revenue will go towards the cost of building and maintaining the network.
Think of the MOPC's network as a toll highway, so that the users (internet service providers) pay to use our infrastructure to provide residents with high-speed internet.
Open Access means the highway is open to everyone, not one service provider.
To build an Open Access, High-Speed Network in Pictou County that includes fibre and wireless infrastructure, we need:
1123 Kilometres of Fibre Optics
Minimum Speeds generated:
Wireless 5 Mbps upload,
Fibre- 10 Mbps upload
50 Mbps download
Residents along Highway 376 from Lyons Brook to Central West River are currently connected to our fibre.
Packages from Internet Service Providers range from $30 to $100 a month, depending on the service provider and the package the customer chooses.
The MOPC is in the process of testing and connecting customers to its 14 towers. The wireless service will be sold by the MOPC directly.
We have branded the wireless service as MOPC FirstHome.
The MOPC received $4.46 million from the federal government Federal Government’s Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Program in the spring of 2020. This money was put toward the wireless component of the project.
MOPC has contracted a company to care for connections and system maintenance. Our wireless service costs $49.99 plus HST per month, with no data cap and no contract. Anyone interested in connecting to the service can call Heather Allen at 1-833-727-2256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tower locations are:
MOPC Administration Building
Town of Pictou
For more coverage of the Dec. 19th announcement by Minister Fraser and remarks by MOPC Warden Robert Parker can be found on the Municipality of Pictou County's YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgblbv0KMZCbzjEiUVW2VfA