Canada’s largest rural municipally-owned broadband project is getting underway

Press Release
For Immediate Release
August 31, 2020
Pictou County Begins Network Construction
PICTOU, NS – The Municipality of Pictou County (MOPC) has begun construction on phase one of its rural internet project.
MOPC Council recently approved $11 million to fund the first phase of its rural internet project that will see residents in the areas of Lyons Brook, Hardwood Hill, Abercrombie, and Granton have access to high-speed internet.
“The COVID pandemic both highlighted the need for the network, and slowed down the start of our construction,” said Warden Robert Parker. “We had many urgent matters to attend to, to deal with the pandemic. Now, we are able to get the network underway.”
Municipality of Pictou County CAO Brian Cullen described the network design as a ‘fibre-rich’ plan, with extensive use of fibre optic cable to provide service to residents: “This will provide additional future-proofing of the network and give us the ability to better serve our community. When the network is complete, it will meet or exceed the CRTC guidelines for directly connected speeds of 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) up and 50 Mbps down, and for wireless/satellite speeds of 5 Mbps up 25 Mbps down.”
This municipally led network combines revenue sharing and world-class quality with competitive Open Access pricing and choice. Public and private sectors will combine strengths for the quick delivery of a network that sparks new businesses and social initiatives, according to i-VALLEY President Terry Dalton, which provides municipal oversight on the project.
The Municipality of Pictou County and i-VALLEY chose a consortium of providers led by Nova Communications, a division of ROCK Networks to perform engineering planning and network construction, with NCS Networks being the lead Internet service provider.
“The COVID crises showed how much the world relies on digital networking for information and a sense of community. Rural residents see this as a fundamental utility – like electricity or roads,” said Warden Parker. “We have heard from so many people over the years that this is important to them, and now the first step in underway.” The municipality has recently obtained Federal Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission status as a “telecommunications carrier”. Construction of other phases of the network will follow the completion of Phase One. Information will be posted to the MOPC website.
For more information, contact:
Sueann Musick
Communications Officer
Municipality of Pictou County

Barry Gander