actual screenshot of internet speed test showing slow connection

Slow Rural Internet is Hindering the Cape Breton Economy

High Speed Internet is not a luxury. In 2020 it’s a necessity for education and employment; even more-so now with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Working and learning from home requires a stable, fast internet connection. Doctors’ offices, banks, and government services are all encouraging – or in some cases requiring – that users engage with them over the internet.

Businesses of every description need to be connected. It is virtually impossible to attract entrepreneurs and startups to rural communities with poor internet. Similarly, professionals like teachers, lawyers, and doctors, who live in rural communities are finding it difficult to cope. The nature of their work demands a high speed internet connection.

For some families, the situation is dire, and moving to a different community with better internet is the only viable solution. Needless to say, property values are negatively impacted in communities with sub-standard internet.

Improving the access, speed, and stability of rural high speed internet in CBRM District 3 is one of my top priorities.

If you live in District 3, there is a good chance that your internet is too slow and unstable to meet the minimum standards for many on-line services. This is not only inconvenient and/or frustrating, but is causing stress, anxiety, and financial loss for the individuals and families effected.

I have personally been in contact with the office of Keith Bain, Nova Scotia MLA for the riding of Victoria- the Lakes, who raised the issue in NS Legislature. I have also been in contact with representatives from Develop Nova Scotia – the provincial agency responsible for connecting rural communities – in an attempt to expedite infrastructure upgrades in CBRM District 3.

In February of this year it was announced that the community of Boisdale would be getting high speed Internet via fibre optic lines from Bell Aliant. In July Seaside communications announced that it would partner with Eskasoni First Nation to bring high speed internet to the community.

This is excellent news for the residents of Boisdale and Eskasoni, but there are thousands of District 3 residents left waiting in over a dozen other communities . Without the support and advocacy of CBRM councillors, CBRM rural residents are unlikely to see improvements any time soon.

I will do everything possible – engaging ALL levels of government AND the private sector – to speed up the current process. Improving the access, speed, and stability of rural high speed internet in CBRM District 3 is one of my top priorities.

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