The Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust will invest $10.6 million in the Municipality of Pictou County’s independent project to bring high-speed internet to more than 4,700 homes and businesses.
“The Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust shares our commitment to provide Nova Scotians with high-speed internet access,” said Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane, MLA for Pictou West, on behalf of Public Works Minister Kim Masland, who shares ministerial responsibility for Build Nova Scotia. “The Pictou County Rural Broadband Project is an important part of how we will achieve this, and together with our partners, we are pleased to support this expansion.”
The municipality’s fibre expansion project will cost about $53 million. In December, the Government of Canada announced up to $31 million for the project, while the county is expected to contribute $10.6 million.
In the meantime, the county started rolling out a fixed wireless service in December. It will be available to all residents in the zone, and when the fibre is ready, people will be able to switch over.
Residents and business owners in Pictou County and other parts of the province also have the option to get internet service faster through the provincial Satellite Internet Service Rebate Program. The program provides an interim solution until fixed wireless or wired projects – such as the one in Pictou County – are complete.
The rebate covers the one-time costs for eligible homes and businesses to set up satellite internet, including hardware, shipping, installation and tax, up to a maximum of $1,000. In November, the program was expanded to accept applications from any resident or business owner who currently does not have access to wired or wireless internet service.
On behalf of our council, I thank Premier Houston and the trustees of the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust for their significant investment. The residents of rural Pictou County will soon have access, at a reasonable price, to quality high-speed internet. Thanks to sizeable federal and provincial contributions to our high-speed internet project, no individual and no business will be left behind, no matter where they are located in our rural municipality. This will encourage all of our communities to grow in numbers and in prosperity.Robert Parker, Warden, Municipality of Pictou County
- the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative was established in 2018 with an investment of $193 million for the independent Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust
- the Satellite Internet Service Rebate Program is funded through the trust, following a government investment of $8.5 million in 2021-22
- to date, the trust has invested $180.7 million in projects and leveraged another $169.9 million through partnerships
- through projects underway, the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative is on track to reach 98,500 homes and businesses by the end of 2023
- when Pictou County’s independent project is complete, expected in 2025, 99.99 per cent of Nova Scotia homes and businesses will have internet access
More information about the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative is available at: https://internet.buildns.ca
More information on the Pictou County high-speed internet project is available at: https://ruralnet.munpict.ca
Information on the federal government’s Universal Broadband Fund, which is providing funding for the Pictou County project: https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/high-speed-internet-canada/en/universal-broadband-fund