Rural Internet Project

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Updated March 12, 2020: Internet Project FAQ

Do you have questions about the rural internet project? Check out our FAQ here and see if some of them can be answered.  internet-project-FAQ.pdf


Updated March 3, 2020

Funding approved for phase one of Municipality of Pictou County’s rural internet project

PICTOU, NS – The Municipality of Pictou County has committed funding to phase one of its rural internet project.

Council recently approved $11 million to the first phase of its rural internet project that could see residents in the areas of Lyons Brook, Hardwood Hill, Abercrombie, and Granton have access to high-speed internet in 2020. A consortium led by Nova Communications was chosen to perform the engineering planning and network construction.

Municipality of Pictou County Warden Robert Parker said council has made a significant step towards providing rural residents and businesses with high-speed internet.

“We are still very much in the early stages of the project, but we are moving forward with our goal to provide high-speed internet to our residents,” he said. “We have heard from so many people over the years that this is important to them, and council has taken the first step to reach this goal.”

Council had initially budgeted $8 million for phase one of the project, but this has increased by an additional $3 million mainly because of its decision to increase its fibre count from 144 to 288 strand fibres. This will future proof the network and give the municipality the ability to better market business opportunities.

The municipality must also construct a new tower in the Hardwood Hill Area since the recently completed design study identified the current tower in the area as unusable.

Before construction can begin, approval must be given by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission for the municipality to work within the telecommunications industry. Pending approval, the municipality is hopeful the first phase of the project can be completed by this fall.

The Municipality of Pictou County wants to become the first rural community in Canada to create its own high-speed network, which will generate funds for the municipality.
The project will see the municipality create the backbone infrastructure required for high-speed internet so internet service providers will able to provide their service and products to rural residents and businesses.

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.

When the network is complete, it is looking to meet or exceed the CRTC guidelines of wired speeds: 10 Mbps up and 50 Mbps down and wireless/satellite speeds: 5 Mbps up 25 Mbps down. (Mbps = Megabits per second)

The goal is to enable 1GB download speed for fibre connections and meet the requirements for wireless.

Updated information March 2, 2020

The Municipality of Pictou County is encouraging all rural residents to sign up for our direct email updates on our high-speed internet project.

Flyers were recently distributed in the Rural News and Views that provide the link for this signup. There is also an opportunity for residents to take an internet speed test that will upload and download your current internet speed.

There have been technical issues for some rural residents trying the speed test regarding their postal code, so we have made improvements.

The postal code reference is being removed by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, so we are relying on the map location pin. Please move the pin to the location of your house or office.

• When you click on the start button for the test, a screen appears with a map, for you to confirm your location;
• The marker is positioned where the test thinks you are; if that is not right, use your mouse to drag the pin to your area;
• When it marks your location, click on "Start," and the test will begin. 

More information can be found on the link below: 


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For the residents of the Municipality of Pictou County (MOPC), the creation of a high-speed communications network has been one of the most urgent and pressing concerns.The Municipal Council has responded and is in the beginning stages of the construction of a broadband network that will bring high-speed and affordable coverage to 100% of residents.  The project involves a $25-million municipal investment that returns revenues for further investment in future upgrades.  It will usher in an era of expanded economic and social growth for Pictou County residents.   

The network will provide 100% coverage for all residents.  Service quality will meet or exceed Canadian standards, and pricing will be competitive and equitable.  Because the network is “Open Access”, all Internet Service Providers are welcome to offer services—a benefit that will provide variety and ensure good consumer value.

After a period of planning and review by MOPC’s consultants i-Valley, a consortium led by Nova Communications was chosen to perform the engineering planning and network construction.  The consortium includes international and local companies.

The first phase of the rural broadband project is already underway, but the full network roll-out is projected to be in 2020. To stay in the loop, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter or check back here for updates throughout this exciting project.  More information on the project and the role of digital networks in today’s economy can be found here, A Story of a Network. 

Further questions about this project can be directed to Sueann Musick, Communications Officer for the Municipality of Pictou County, at 902-485-2238 or