Rural Internet and Cellular Project Update

This project update is meant to provide citizens with an overview of progress regarding the planning for a broadband network for the County.  It is hoped that by actively keeping citizens abreast of developments, we will provide a convenient way for everyone to receive real information while curtailing speculation.

Planning highlights up to March 5, 2018:

  • The Municipality of the County of Pictou has appointed an ad hoc communications committee chaired by Councillor Darla MacKeil, to facilitate an accountable affordable and high-quality telecommunications network that serves anticipated residential and commerce needs.
  • On February 26, 2018 the committee heard a presentation from project partner I-Valley on the steps that would be taken to facilitate the construction of the network.
  • The process will start with testing of the current network, and then will involve network route planning, design, business planning and contractor selection.

Please note that no information is yet available on coverage areas; this information will come as the project progresses.  The Municipality will provide further updates when more information becomes available. 

The following press release was issued in February concerning the Rural Internet and Cellular Service Project.

Pictou, Nova Scotia February 5, 2018… The Municipal Council for the Municipality of the County of Pictou have agreed to partner with i-Valley Intelligent Community Association for management services for the Municipality’s rural internet and cellular initiative. The Municipal Council during a recent strategic priorities session identified the issue of bringing long term improvements to the internet backbone, and last mile infrastructure for the area as its number one priority.

In 2017, the Municipality formed an ad-hoc communications committee to identify and address communications issued faced by its residents. The Committee’s mandate is “To facilitate for the residents of the Municipality of the County of Pictou an accountable, affordable, and high quality telecommunications network that serves anticipated residential and commercial needs. This essential service will be fundamental to the future economic prosperity, social development and educational needs.

“Insufficient access to high-speed internet and cellular service within the municipality has been identified as a barrier to the success of local businesses, as well as to quality of life for residents. The Municipal Council wants to ensure that the Municipality has the internet and cellular coverage and capacity to properly serve existing business and residents, and attract more to the region” says Warden Robert Parker.

The work to be completed by i-Valley over the next several months will provide Council a practical high-level model for deployment of high speed internet to the Municipality. It will entail business analysis, technical analysis, and design sufficient to concretely advance the Municipalities’ knowledge in preparation for evidence-based decisions on bringing high-speed internet to its underserved and non-served citizens and businesses says Darla MacKeil, Chair of the Ad-hoc Communications Committee.

I-Valley is a not for profit association comprised of Mayors, Warden, businesses, civic leaders, academia and experts from around the world. This pan-Atlantic movement is dedicated to creating regions of Smart or Intelligent Communities. I Valley was identified through a Request for Proposals call issued by the Municipality earlier this year. It is anticipated that the business case development will be completed within the next 6 months.

For further information please contact:   Brian Cullen, Chief Administrative Office