» Rural Internet
Rural Internet

Rural Internet

Waterfront Development is becoming Develop Nova Scotia. We are pleased to announce that Develop Nova Scotia is now the crown corporation responsible for leading sustainable development of high potential property and infrastructure across Nova Scotia – all with the view to drive inclusive economic growth in our province.

As Waterfront Development, our mandate was to redevelop and revitalize lands surrounding Halifax Harbour and other lands designated by our shareholder – which led to our involvement in Lunenburg. While our commitment and love of our place at the water’s edge remains steadfast, now, as Develop Nova Scotia, our mission is to support the creation of sustainable places right across Nova Scotia that attract and inspire people and investment.

We need to do things differently as a province if we expect to grow our economy and address our population challenges. Our experience, and lots of research too, shows that strong places are essential to economic development. Strong places support strategic sectors like tourism, and other oceans-related sectors, they contribute to successful innovation districts, and they contribute importantly to quality of life. Great places attract people and investment follows talent.

That’s why Develop Nova Scotia will be focused on planning, development and management of land and infrastructure by and for and with people. When we make people the centre of our work, we develop strong places that are diverse and authentic and unique in character, not to mention environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

Connectivity and accessibility – including Internet connectivity – are important factors in building places where businesses and people flourish. That’s why one of the first new projects the Province of Nova Scotia has asked us to take on is designing and managing the implementation strategy for Rural High Speed Internet across the province in connection with the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust.

Our job is to ensure we design and execute an implementation strategy that enables creative problem solving, competitive bids and, ultimately, reliable, high quality, sustainable service levels with maximum coverage. And we want to achieve this while minimizing public investment. We will develop the strategy through meaningful engagement with industry and communities, a transparent and competitive bid process and ongoing public communication, and diligent management of projects.

We understand the urgency when it comes to rural Internet. We expect to be in market with a competitive bid process this fall. At the same time, we must acknowledge this is a large, complex project, with rapidly evolving technology, and involves the investment of a significant amount of public funds. We must get it right now and for the future.

We will be engaging with industry, municipal and regional economic leaders in the next 30 days – invitations will begin going out next week. We’ll be interested in learning what’s important to your communities in terms of economic success, strategic infrastructure, and rural Internet connections. The sessions will help to finalize our Rural Internet implementation strategy as well as our 5-year strategic plan as Develop Nova Scotia.

This new mandate is an assignment we’re ready for. Our small team of highly-skilled professionals regularly manages complex, multi-stakeholder projects that involve public funds while leveraging private sector investment in order to meet social, environmental and economic sustainability objectives for Nova Scotians. Our small team will grow over the next few months, however our focus on current priorities and projects underway will not waiver.

For more information, please email us at info@developns.ca

2018/19 Develop Nova Scotia Business Plan and Strategic Framework
Develop Nova Scotia Engagement Sessions Recap 

Frequently Asked Questions

What technologies will be used for Rural High-Speed Internet for Nova Scotia?
We believe a focus on results, not technologies, will facilitate successful rural high-speed Internet roll-out for Nova Scotians. We expect project proponents will suggest technologies and solutions needed to reach comprehensive speed and reliability performance targets, as well as to best facilitate ongoing evolution and upgrade of technologies. The competitive bid process will be finalized based on community engagement and feedback and we expect it will be in market by late fall 2018.

How will you ensure funding recipients deliver what they promise?
We’re developing an implementation plan that focuses on outcomes. Past experience by other projects has shown that using iron-clad contracts and service level agreements can ensure results are being delivered by project proponents, now & over lifetime of the contracts. These elements of the process are currently being developed and will be further informed by stakeholder engagement sessions.

How will projects secure funds?
We are developing a competitive bid process to receive proposals which we aim to release late this fall. Our engagement with industry, municipalities and RENs will inform the design of the competitive process. Successful proponents to this competitive process will be recommended for funding by Develop Nova Scotia to the Trust.

The Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust has a commitment from the province of approximately $120 million, but the cost to build has been estimated at between $300-$500 million?

Nova Scotia has committed approximately $120 million into the Trust – the largest per capita investment in Canada in rural Internet deployment – it’s an important first step. It’s important to remember the $300M – $500M figure is an estimate of what all parties – private sector, federal government, provincial government and municipalities – will contribute. Financial assembly will be a critical piece of this project – leveraging funding from all possible sources, and we will begin the competitive bid process as soon as possible, which will give us a much better idea of the actual cost of build. At the same time, we’ll be looking for additional sources of funding, as will the Province of Nova Scotia.

What are your coverage and speed targets?
We expect high-speed internet to cover in excess of 95% of rural households. We anticipate that we can connect a minimum of 95% of rural households to fibre, cable or fixed wireless service. Most of the rest of rural households will be connected via satellite service.
Speed targets are: speeds of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload for wirelines last-mile services; and at least up to 25 Mbps download for wireless last-mile and satellite services.

How will you ensure technology remains current?
We will put in place measures to ensure that networks are built so they can evolve to meet future technology demands.