Residents of North and Central Queens can now jump on the information superhighway.
The final-mile work to install wires to the poles was completed this spring and summer and high-speed internet is now available in those areas.
Over 1,250 premises in North and Central Queens can connect to high speed internet, providing speeds of up to 100Mbps.
Region of Queens mayor David Dagley says he’s looked forward to this moment for a long time.
“It’s really great news to have Bell Canada to the point where they have the cables on the poles and they’re now willing to take requests from residents to be hooked up,” said Dagley.
He says this announcement comes after years of time, effort and investment from the region.
The mayor says without a $64,500 investment from the region in partnership with the federal invest to connect program during the winter of 2018/19 that laid the backbone of the high-speed connection, today’s news wouldn’t be possible.
The high-speed fibre-optic lines installed by Bell Canada this summer were the result of a $435,500 investment from the region as well as $487,000 from Develop Nova Scotia’s Internet Funding Trust for Nova Scotia initiative.
Dagley says many government agencies want people to access their services online, which given the current low speed connections in some parts of Queens, is virtually impossible.
“I have friends in North Queens that, I send them an ordinary e-mail with maybe four lines of text,” said Dagley. “It takes a minute to download it for them to read it. When you look at that crawl speed, it’s just not acceptable.”
Dagley says the newly available high-speed internet will do more than just improve the daily quality of life for residents.
“It also will improve and grow home-based businesses in that area," he explained. "If you really want to picture it, and if you are fortunate enough to have a property on a lake, you can put your feet up on the deck and you can do your home-based business in the best of scenery.”
Dagley says governments at both the provincial and federal level have been aggressive about providing grants to connect people to high-speed internet.
He says the investment from Queens is significant, but they can’t pass up the opportunity to improve the lives of their residents.
“We certainly can’t afford to miss that boat. We have worked hard to get grants in the system in partnership with Bell Canada and it’s working. It certainly is working well for the Region of Queens and it appears to be working very well for residents at this point. So, we’ll keep expanding and improving services where it’s sub-standard,” said Dagley.
Residents can sign for high-speed internet now, by following this link, calling Bell Aliant at 1-844-305-4228 or by dropping into the nearest Bell Aliant store.
Dagley expects residents will begin connecting to the service this fall.
Reported by Ed Halverson