Speeding up: Internet project will see more homes in Shelburne County able to get faster service


Published on March 29, 2017

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There’s hope for some Shelburne County residents who struggle with slow Internet speeds.

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A new initiative announced this week will see 340 homes connected to high speed Internet, with plans to connect 1,000 more through federal and provincial funding dedicated to connecting rural communities.

In the Municipality of the District of Shelburne, $75,000 in funding will extend fibre op to about 340 homes and 16 businesses on Highway 203, Ohio, Shelburne Marine Industrial Park, Sandy Point, and Jordan Falls. This will offer download speeds of up to 940 Mbps.

These areas had limited access to Internet with speeds under one Mbps through the Eastlink Rural Broadband initiative.

“A lot of people were upset with Eastlink,” said Shelburne County Warden Penny Smith.

After applying for funding, council contacted Bell Internet. The Internet service provider looked into the issue and let council know what areas could be serviced with the money.

Council strategically ensured the business park was a part of the high speed service area to help attract businesses, Smith said.

The new areas to be serviced should be connected by the fall.

This still leaves many areas in the municipality without reliable Internet connections – and, in some cases, no connection at all.

“We are working on getting funding now for phase two,” said Smith.

That will include a much larger expansion of service through fibre-op, she said. Smith is hoping it will include communities like Welshtown, Ohio, Birchtown, North East Harbour and continue further up Sandy Point.

The municipality hopes to have phase two completed by next spring.

“It is pretty ambitious,” said Smith.  “Council has recognized that there was a need and people should have proper access.”