Four-hundred more Nova Scotians living in rural parts of the province will soon have access to high-speed internet.
The province says the expansion is a result of new contracts with Bell and Eastlink, signed by Develop Nova Scotia.
“We know that reliable, high-speed internet access for all Nova Scotians cannot come soon enough,” said Susan Corkum-Greek, the minister of Economic Development, in a news release Thursday.
“It’s a vital service in today’s world and plays a key role in helping communities across our province, particularly in rural Nova Scotia, seize economic opportunities and reach their full potential.”
In total, Bell will expand access to 333 homes and business located in smaller, less populated areas across the province. Eastlink will expand to 66 more homes and businesses in the Annapolis Valley, while also working on solutions with Develop Nova Scotia on other underserved areas across the province.
“New connections are happening daily and by the end of March, approximately 89 per cent of Nova Scotians have access to high-speed internet,” said Jennifer Angel, the president and CEO of Develop Nova Scotia.
According to a news release from the province, the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust has approved $1.7 million for these projects, while an additional $446,000 is coming from private sector investments.
Develop Nova Scotia is working with internet service providers to find solutions for the remaining 4,000 underserved homes and businesses across the province, of which about 1,000 do not have commercial power.
“With the additional high-speed internet coverage provided by Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust projects announced to date, the municipal-led project in Pictou and Bell’s Wireless Home Internet Service, it is expected that 99.5 per cent of Nova Scotia’s homes and businesses will have high-speed access by the end of 2023,” wrote the province.
To date, almost 60,000 of 90,000 homes and businesses in Nova Scotia have been provided access to the network in place for new or improved high-speed internet under Develop Nova Scotia’s projects.