HALIFAX, Aug. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - In an announcement held at Eastlink's Nova Scotia headquarters today, the company confirmed it will make a $6.5M investment in Rural Nova Scotia, bringing high speed Internet and other advanced fibre services to thousands more rural Nova Scotians.
"Investing in small towns and communities is a fundamental part of who we are as a company," said Lee Bragg. "We appreciate that when it comes to Internet in rural Nova Scotia, there have and continue to be challenges. We are very pleased to make an additional investment towards improvement in these areas."
As a company that predominantly serves non-urban areas, Eastlink has a long history of investing in rural towns and communities.
Over the past 15 years, Eastlink has invested in excess of $1B dollars in its fibre and wireless networks, and the most advanced technologies to connect hundreds of small communities in Nova Scotia to the same services generally only found in urban areas from other providers. This includes high speed Internet delivered over the company's hybrid fibre network.
Additionally, Eastlink's contribution to connect rural communities in the southern part of the province to the Rural Broadband service totals more than $35M.
"We continue to invest heavily to ensure as many rural Nova Scotians as possible have access to high speed Internet, as well as our other advanced fibre-based services," continued Mr. Bragg who confirmed that $5.5M will go towards the expansion of the company's core fibre services."
"This investment will expand access to Internet speeds that will scale to 940Mbps in the BRNS community of West Pubnico, as well as the communities of Guysborough, Inverness, Mabou, Judique, Port Hood and Port Hastings.
$1M will be invested in upgrading about 1,000 existing Rural Broadband customers in southern Nova Scotia to offer the option of higher Internet speeds ranging from 5-10 Mbps. Although the company did not release a finalized list of the Rural Broadband communities to benefit from improved service, Mr. Bragg did confirm that Kemptville (Yarmouth Co), Greenfield (Queens Co) and Margaretsville (Annapolis Co) will be among the areas to benefit from improved service.
"Eastlink is a Nova Scotian company that has invested heavily in this province for the past 45 years," said Premier Stephen McNeil. "We are very pleased with Eastlink's latest commitment to rural Nova Scotia. It is reassuring that, like our government, Eastlink recognizes the importance of providing access to quality, high speed Internet to more and more rural Nova Scotians. We're pleased that Eastlink continues to make important investments here. This is another strong step forward."
This latest announcement builds on Eastlink's ongoing investments in rural Nova Scotia including an additional $2M last year to expand the company's fibre-based Internet services to just over 800 additional homes in Lower East Pubnico in the Municipality of Argyle and Upper Granville/Granville Station in Annapolis County.
Fibre upgrade work is already underway in the community of Guysborough. Eastlink expects work to begin on the BRNS improvement areas later this fall.
Mr. Bragg says Eastlink has submitted a proposal to the provincial government so the company can continue to make more important upgrades in even more communities.
- The only national telecommunications company headquartered in Nova Scotia
- Over 1,000 of the company's 1,500 employees are based in Nova Scotia
- Canadian Customer Care Centre located in NS and serves Eastlink customers in Nova Scotia and across the country.
- Operates 16 retail locations across Nova Scotia
- Invested in excess of $1B in Nova Scotia over the last 15 years.
- Invested a total of $37M, with a $2.5M subsidy from the Province of Nova Scotia, to bring Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia Internet to underserved Rural Nova Scotians in the southern part of the province.
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