Pictou County Ushers in A New Era of Rural Broadband Based on Community Owned Networks

Pictou, October 02, 2019 -- Today marks a historic moment for the Municipality of Pictou County as it moves forward on a project that will bring fast and affordable high-speed internet to the community. In partnership with Nova Communications, a division of ROCK Networks, and a consortium of best-in-class partners, Nokia, Plexus, WesTower, i-Valley, and NCS, the Municipality of Pictou County is positioned to provide internet connectivity where none has existed before. This Open Access Network model succeeds where traditional telecom models fail.  It is a self-funded revenue-generating approach for rural communities that will usher in a new era of economic and social growth while attracting and keeping jobs in the community. It will also be opening up areas of innovation with Smart City and IoT capabilities.

 “The High-Speed Internet Project has been the top priority of our council for the last three years and is a major milestone for all residents and businesses in rural Pictou County.  We, as a Council, are proud to be one of the first municipal units to construct, own and control our own high-speed Internet system. This will allow individuals and businesses to live and operate almost anywhere in our rural landscape with all the communications advantages of larger urban centres,” said Municipality of Pictou County Warden Robert Parker. “While the upfront expenditure is large, our Council’s objective is to build a high-speed Internet system that is top quality, competitively priced, and sustainable. The network will be self-funded from internet service revenues, thus not increasing tax rates. In all, it’s a big move ahead for rural Pictou County, with improved cell service to follow not far behind.”

The Municipality of Pictou County has committed $25 million to build the network ensuring residents and businesses in rural areas have access to the best high-speed Internet available.

“Municipalities across Canada are complaining about lack of funding for community projects including broadband services.  The answer is within their grasp, and it is based on the Pictou County model of a community-owned network.  Not only is the network self-sustaining but telecom spend is kept local in the community, which enables new services to be delivered,” said Joe Hickey, president, and CEO of ROCK Networks. He added, “It’s time that we close the broadband gap so that rural and urban areas have the same opportunities; it’s wonderful to be a part of such a positive change in the Municipality of Pictou County.”