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Broadband program improving connectivity for Shelburne residents and businesses

Letter to the editor
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Bill Harris Ltd. provides boat building, hauling and trucking to customers all over Atlantic Canada and in the United States.  Communication and speed are key in their business but up until a month ago, they had to rely on telephone communication and sluggish Internet speeds.
While their Shelburne Industrial Park locale did formerly have Bell DSL coverage the service was unreliable and constantly needed to be reset.
They are now connected with fibre-op both at home and at work and co-owner Sherri Harris says the way they conduct business has changed.
“A customer might want to send or see a photo of a boat they want built,” she says.  This can happen at lightning speed.  “It’s more efficient.  We are not playing telephone tag anymore and we now do all our ordering through the Internet.  Having speed is making a huge difference.”
The Municipality of Shelburne just got more connected with 344 homes and businesses equipped with fibre-op or broadband coverage and a hopeful council that an announcement will be made to almost triple that amount if approved.
Phase one of the broadband program just wrapped up and chief administrative officer for the MoS, Chris McNeill says they should hear if phase 2 would get approved in the next few weeks.
The first phase included a funding boost from the municipal and community rural high-speed Internet funding program that was launched in November 2016.
They received $75,000 of the $450,000 cost from the program another $107,500 from Bell and $267,500 invested by the MoS.
“Once we complete phase two we will have half our residents connected,” says warden, Penny Smith.  “Our goal is to have all residents connected.”
She says they can’t do it alone and they are waiting on the funding approval that will connect a further 1100 residences and cost around $2-million.
Now that the phase one infrastructure is complete explained McNeill, Bell is going door to door to the new area in Jordan Falls, Ohio and Sandy Point to sign interested party’s up.
The new service will offer up to 940 Mbps.

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