Connectivity: Internet and Cell phones

In 2017 our members passed a resolution regarding connectivity. Our members were clear: access to high speed internet and cell phone coverage is critical for all communities.  It can assist in supporting public safety, economic development, health care, education and public services.  Many consider connectivity an essential service.

pdf Resolution 3 - Connectivity and High-Speed Internet PASSED (115 KB)

In this resolution our members requested a province-wide strategy with timelines and a funding plan to ensure all communities are able to access highspeed internet connections to support economic development, education and health outcomes.  A considerable amount of work has since been done to address this issue at the provincial level, and some of the resources and output of that work are available here:

Workshop

Members also requested that the province collaborate with municipalities to identify the appropriate role for municipalities to support solutions to the connectivity issues in their communities and asked that we host a workshop to help municipalities understand the provincial strategy and the role municipalities are and could be playing to ensure their communities are connected and not disadvantaged due to their connectivity challenges.  We held this workshop on October 11th, 2018.  The presentation materials from this workshop are available here:

The Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust and Develop Nova Scotia

In early 2018 the Government of Nova Scotia announced $120 million was to be set aside for the improvement of rural internet throughout the province. Over the summer, the size of the trust grew to $193M.

Develop Nova Scotia, formerly Waterfront Development Corporation, has a mandate to lead strategic infrastructure development and property management throughout the province to help grow the economy and strengthen communities.

As one part of these broader duties, Develop Nova Scotia is heading up the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative. This initiative aims to ensure that more than 95 per cent of rural Nova Scotians have access to broadband internet. You can read about the strategic plan for this initiative here.

Develop Nova Scotia is also responsible for making recommendations to the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust. On Thursday, December 13th, Develop Nova Scotia released information about the competitive process for these funds, including a timeline. This information is available here.

Develop Nova Scotia has now opened the process of prequalifying organizations who wish to participate in the competitive bidding process later next year. The official online page for the prequalification can be found here.

The official tender documents for prequalification can be found here.

A non-mandatory information session, called a ‘Respondent’s Conference’, will be provided to prospective respondents to ensure all parties are aware of the details and services expected of them. The meeting will be held at the following location and time:

Date: January 16, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Atlantic Time
Location: Halifax, location TBD.

Addenda will be issued by January 7, 2019, with details including a teleconference option for remote participants. Respondents who do not attend the site meeting will not be precluded from submitting a proposal.